The original RCTS school building built in 1919 burned to the ground in February 1947 during the school year. Arrangements were made to continue educating the first, second, and third grade students at the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church on Henry St. located in the Hill City/Newtown neighborhood. Future RCTS teacher, Clara Jane Ford, was a student at the church/school. Mrs. Katie M. Fuzell was their teacher.
Using churches as schools to educate Black children was not unusual in the South. In fact, the first schools were located in churches or in Masonic lodges or in buildings co-located with Black churches. Thus, St. Paul stepped in to provide a place where the community's children could be educated.
Stephen Mission School was established in 1924; being held in the Stephen Mission Methodist Church with one teacher, and in 1949 the County Board gave an old building; which was rebuilt into a two room school, and for three years there were two teachers. In 1952 the grades and enrollment were decreased then only one teacher was needed. In 1956 one of the two rooms was torn down. Now there is one room, one teacher, and 22 pupils enrolled.
The above info was provided by Cather Heard, Principal of Stephen Mission School April 30, 1956.