Historic book repaired, returned just in time for Tulsa Race Massacre centennial commemoration

TULSA, Okla. — The Historic Vernon AME Church’s “Book of Redemption” is now revitalized and soon to be on display at the church.

The book was started in 1934, it lists hundreds of names with addresses and phone numbers of people who donated money to rebuild the church and pay off the debt after the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Because of this, to this day the church doesn’t have a mortgage on their sanctuary.

Pastor Robert Turner says First Lady Sarah Stitt initiated fixing up the book when she toured the church last year. Turner said she was inspired by the people in the book and wanted to help preserve its legacy.

Turner says the book was in bad shape, pages and bindings were disintegrating, so the First Lady connected them with the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.

Turner says it took eight months to restore and that they just got the book back last week. The museum also sent back another identical version of it so people can continue to write their name when donating.

The restored book will be unveiled to the public on May 31st as part of the centennial commemoration of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.