Projects aim to preserve history of Butte’s black, Chinese and Italian communities | Local

When Pastor Mike Boston first moved the congregation of the Joshua Tree Bible Church into a modest chapel on the corner of Platinum and Idaho streets in 2012, he noticed something that didn’t seem to fit in with the cracked stucco facade of the building: a cornerstone engraved with the words “SHAFFERS CHAPEL / A.M.E Church / Erected 1901.”

Curious, Boston began to search for more information online.

He found scraps and clues — A.M.E. stands for “African Methodist Episcopal,” an African-American denomination founded in the United States; Booker T. Washington, a pioneering advocate of civil rights for blacks, spoke in the church in 1913. But mostly, the story the cornerstone suggested remained…

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