Erma F. McGimpsey
The first burial ground for freed Blacks is now being preserved and is most difficult to reach.
might have been forgotten or overlooked if it had not been
for some surviving descendants of early members of the
The church was established in 1865, two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Most southern states were unaware (or didn’t want to acknowledge the signing) until then.
time, Coa Willie had in her
possession an original handwritten property deed, dated
early 90’s Crescent Resources started to develop land in and around
a community meeting held at
”It was a great interesting day, property lines were not properly drawn, and
people who had relatives buried there helped determine by trees and old pieces
of timbers that this was the line”. A deed was made out
This type of settlement has not digested well with those descendants left behind. Having the gates locked to the cemetery proves to be an inconvenience to those having relatives buried there.
James O. Kincaid remembers growing up in the area, “My mother and I went and cleaned up the cemetery on all special days and we took flowers. It got to the point when we would go back within a week and the flowers would be gone”. At one time, He had threatened to break the locks on the gates.
Ella Fullwood Kincaid, Kincaid’s mother was the last person buried there. That was in 1960.
Coa Willie Witworth’s grandparents, great uncles, Aunts and cousins are all buried there. “I like to always have room to go in as you please, instead of the hassle of going to hunt someone down to get a key”. “I want to feel free and not like someone under bondage. I want to go and visit my family members when I please, said Witworth. She’d like her daughter and children to be able to go and put flowers on the graves when they want to.
According to Troy Lucas, the church site and the burial ground will be preserved.