The glowing lightbulb in the corner of the room at The McKinney First Baptist Church has a deeper meaning.
The bulb, sitting on a lamp and uncovered by a lampshade, is a physical reminder of the legacy of Lewis Howard Latimer, an inventor who joined Thomas Edison’s lab and who is credited with developing numerous improvements for the lightbulb.
Nearby, a rolling pin sits on a table, an homage to J.W. Reed, who is credited with inventing the rolling pin with handles connected to a center rod. In another corner sits a folding bed, credited to Leonard C. Bailey, the Ranch dressing created by Steve Henson, the golf tees invented by Dr. George Grant and the hair care product credited to Madame C. J. Walker.
It’s all part of an exhibit created by The McKinney First Baptist Church dubbed the “African American Inventors Exhibit” in observance of Black History Month.
The display also includes homages to local figures in McKinney history, including Reuben Johnson, Albert and Iola Davis Malvern, E. S. Doty, Jesse McGowen Jr. and Leonard Evans Jr., who all have had McKinney schools named after them.
Pastor Louis Rosenthal said the church is inviting members of the community to schedule guided tours through the exhibit. The exhibit will be available through the rest of the month.
“The only way people are going to come to know these kinds of facts, they’re going to have to be in an environment where the information can be accurately shared with them, shared with love, shared with knowledge and shared with a passion that says, ‘Look, we’re not saying that we’re better than anybody. We’re also saying we’re not less than nobody,’” Rosenthal said.
Tours can be scheduled by contact The McKinney First Baptist Church at tmfbc.com
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