Volunteers needed for clean-up at Historic Pine Mountain church

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

PINE MOUNTAIN – The Chipley Historic Center (CHC) is recruiting the public to assist with a third public clean-up day at the historical black cemetery at Pine Mountain’s Bethany Baptist Church.

“Our first two cleanup days were very successful. We just want to continue the momentum. And as we said before, as we continue to help our community better understand those who came before us, it is important to protect the heritage of the places and things that share that information such as a cemetery,” said Cindy Bowden, CHC vice chair. “Here at the Center, we have more and more people coming to do genealogical research on their families. Having our historic cemeteries – all our cemeteries – cleaned up and kept up is very important and a great reason for all our citizens to help. Let’s keep all of Pine Mountain ready for guests.”

The clean-up day is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 16. The church cemetery is located at 16331 GA-18 West, Pine Mountain, GA 31822. Church members will be providing hot dogs, hamburgers, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. All are welcome. Participants are asked to wear work clothes and shoes and to bring whatever tools that may be necessary (clippers, weed eaters, etc.). Parking will be in the church lot and, when it is full, across the street at the recycling center.

“It is important to preserve the past, which helps to shape the present and future generations,” said Josephine Bray, a member of Bethany Baptist Church.

The church was established on June 12, 1877. According to the “History of Bethany Baptist Church,” compiled by Lillian D. Champion, originally, “Slaves of plantation owners attended Bethany with the white families. They were accepted into church membership, were baptized, and many were buried in a portion of the old cemetery.”

While the church has remained in the same location since then, the facilities have been upgraded under the leadership of Reverend William Robinson, who became the pastor on May 12, 2001, and continues in that role today. For additional information, contact Whitney Ligon, a member of both Bethany Baptist Church and the Chipley Historic Center, at (706) 350-9903.