Historic Antioch A.M.E. Church, in partnership with Georgia Humanities, the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Agnes Scott College, will offer a History Day for the general public in an effort to collect and preserve the history of the church, a cultural icon.  The event will take place on Saturday, July 16, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Antioch A.M.E. in Stone Mountain.

Past members of the congregationEstablished in 1868, Antioch was the first church founded by African Americans in Decatur, Georgia, following the Civil War. Despite the church’s importance to the history of Decatur and Stone Mountain, where it now operates, its history has not been fully preserved. The History Day, made possible by a grant from Georgia Humanities, is an important step in collecting and saving the church’s past. The day’s programming will also offer an opportunity to learn how to research and preserve history for anyone interested.

“We hope the History Day will raise awareness about Antioch A.M.E. and local African American history,” said Dr. Julia Brock of the Center for Public History. “Though the day is centered on Antioch, we also hope to offer a model for other churches or small institutions who want to learn how to save and share their past.”

Antioch A.M.E. churchAll events of the day are open to the public. Programming will begin with breakfast served at 8:30 a.m. Participants are then invited to attend expert-led workshops at 9 a.m. on African American genealogy and at 10:30 a.m. on preserving family photographs, documents, and heirlooms. In addition, aHistory Harvest” will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in which members and others with a connection to the church are encouraged to bring personal photographs and documents related to Antioch to be scanned.  These items will be used to build a digital archive of church history, hosted by the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and UWG Professor Larry Rivers will end the day with a talk at 1 p.m. on the history of the A.M.E. Church, with a focus on the local history of Antioch.

The A.M.E. Church is located at 765 South Hairston Road, Stone Mountain, Georgia, 30088. More information is available at http://antiochamehistory.org. The History Day is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Therefore, the public is encouraged, but not required, to RSVP by July 10 via Eventbrite--http://antiochhistoryday.eventbrite.com--or by calling 678-893-6141.

Posted on July 11, 2016