African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Recording history of black churches tells nation's story

They may not have ornate stained-glass windows and seating for a thousand people, yet these small, rural churches that dot the landscape of Rutherford County and America are often the foundation of the black community. Singing, shouting and soul-saving emanate from them on Sundays and some weeknights when church congregations gather to share their problems and accomplishments and lift their spirits together toward heaven. Yet because many of these churches aren't considered architecturally significant, they are often overlooked in historic preservation circles in documenting and maintaining them. Carroll Van West, director of the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, hopes to change that with the African-American Rural Church Project, a chronicling of churches such as Stones River United Methodist on Old Nashville Highway in Rutherford County. Leonora Washington, a Smyrna Primary School teacher, can attest to the impact the church has had on her life. "There's a closeness there. We share our problems together, and we share our faith. It's something that your earn." Full Story:

Chapel Added To State Registry

Society Hopes Chapel Will Serve As Living History By Jenny Jones KEEZELTOWN — Al Jenkins propped a small ladder against the crumbling stone columns that hold up Longs Chapel, stepped carefully up the rungs and climbed into the old wooden structure. Inside, Jenkins’ voice echoed off the stark walls and barren space that once served as a church and a schoolhouse for Zenda, a former community in northern Rockingham County that was established by newly freed slaves in the mid to late 1800s. He pointed out markings on the walls where the original pews once stood, and he explained the dignity of the building and the people who constructed it. "They went from being property to owning property," said Jenkins, talking about the freed slaves who, with the help of the United Brethren Church and a contractor named Jacob Long, built Longs Chapel between 1869 and 1871. "And as soon as they were able to, they built their own church. That was a major accomplishment." Full Story: