Black History Month Spotlight: The Pendletons

HEMPSTEAD, Tex. (KBTX) - A husband and wife in Hempstead are the embodiment of never giving up.

This week, KBTX is profiling Walter and Alice Pendleton. All this month, we are highlighting people who have witnessed many changes in our history and are continuing to make a difference in our community.

"I married one of the sweetest wives in the world," said Walter Pendleton. The love story between him and Alice started 49 years ago in Hempstead.

"Falling in love with Alice in the 4th grade, I knew she was going to be my wife. How do I know that? It was just an epiphany," said Walter.

"She was so smart I was just so overwhelmed," he shared.

Alice graduated at the top of their class, but when it came to getting a college education, "I did not have any confidence whatsoever. That's where my husband came in. He convinced me," she said.

Overcoming that lapse in confidence was only the first hurdle. Alice attended Prarie View A&M in the 1970s. Despite it being a historically black university, the couple faced challenges.

"I took every little odd job I could, but Alice should have been on a scholarship being valedictorian of our class, but with segregation back in those days, we didn't get the same opportunities that the kids get today," said Walter.

That didn't stop Alice. She earned two degrees from Prairie View, a master's from Rice University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

"He believed in me. He knew I could do it. And I just believed in him," said Dr. Alice Pendleton.

After school, wherever Alice went, Walter followed.

"It's ironic how wherever Alice worked, I worked. When she worked for NASA, I worked for NASA. She would always get my foot in the door," said Walter.

After a health scare, Alice convinced Walter they should go to seminary school. The couple went to Mt. Zion Bible Institute in Houston where they earned several degrees. Eventually, the Pendleton's opened their own seminary in Hempstead where it all started.

"I am just pleased to know how God has used me in this small time of life," said Walter.