‘A Call to Rememberance’

LaGRANGE – In its continuing mission to acknowledge and move beyond the events of the area’s past, Troup Together plans to host a prayer service and marker unveiling to honor Austin Callaway and other victims of lynching in Troup County on Saturday, followed by a sunrise prayer vigil on Sunday.

The marker will be unusual to the country in that few lynchings are ever acknowledged and fewer victims are memorialized by their community, but the group hopes that the acknowledgement will encourage positive race relations within the community.

The service is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Warren Temple United Methodist Church, where in January local leaders set an example that was noted across the nation by apologizing for both the city and the police department’s roles in Callaway’s death in 1940.

Family members are expected to attend the event, as is Mayor Jim Thornton.

A reception is set to take place in the Christian Family Life Center at First Baptist Church on the Square following the unveiling. An informal program is expected to begin at 3:30 p.m.

On Sunday morning at 7 a.m., the remembrance is set to continue when community members gather at Southview Cemetery on Hamilton Road to call the names of Callaway and the nearly 600 known victims of lynching in Georgia between 1877 and 1950.

In a press release, host pastor and Troup Together member Rev. Vincent Dominique stated:

“Every life is precious to God. As we read these names, we recommit ourselves to seeing all people with the same mercy and compassion.”

Troup Together has identified three victims in addition to Callaway who were the victims of lynching in Troup County whose names will be called during the sunrise prayer vigil, which the group believes will be the first of its kind in the area and will take place near Callaway’s final resting place in the cemetery.

All events are open to the public.