In 1885 Sheppard Street became the home of the first African American church in Round Rock, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 407 N. Sheppard St., Round Rock. The street marked a moment in the city’s history by connecting Main Street with one of Round Rock’s predominantly minority neighborhoods.
In a unanimous vote of 7-0 on Jan. 14, City Council approved the resolution to honor King's civil rights accomplishments. A sign will be erected along Sheppard Street to honor King.
Before calling for a vote, Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan took the opportunity to speak in light of the recent events of the previous week, when a mob in support of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Morgan said he received several emails about being silent on the issue and wanted to take the opportunity to address it.
“What has happened this past week was despicable. I’ve had some emails. We in Round Rock do not stand for hate. We don’t tolerate hate. People move here because they feel safe, and this city needs to understand and know that our police are there for every citizen in the city to protect every citizen in the city and not tolerate any, any extreme hate from any group. I just want to reaffirm that,” Morgan said.
He went on to say the resolution to honor King had been long overdue.
“If you remember last year at the MLK march, I’d said that our leadership needs a little bit more MLK in them, seems like they still need a little bit more MLK in them,” Morgan said.
Reactions from council members
“Just based on what is going on nationally and the divisiveness with our politics in our nation and some of the ridiculousness that we have seen, this is the way to start off the year, and I’m glad to see us be leaders,” Council Member Matt Baker said. “This was due and hopefully this is a good start for a lot of good things that we can do in Round Rock, and let’s be leaders in our community and show how to do things right.”
“This is definitely long overdue recognition, and I’m definitely proud to be here tonight and be a part of this. I want to thank everybody for bringing this forward,” Council Member Writ Baese said.
“I just want to say I’m very proud of the city of Round Rock this evening and so grateful to the [Round Rock Black History Organization] for all the hard work that they’ve done and working with the city manager to make this accomplishment and make this real. I really appreciate everything that you guys have done,” Council Member Hila Montgomery said.