today at ebenezer, hope rose like a phoenix from the ashes

This won’t be a particularly long post and over the next couple of days I will be going through photos from the sign ceremony to post but today my heart was happy and full of joy.

I love this site, and I love the history it represents, and today I felt hopeful. Today I felt the old souls were pleased… and I could also feel more recent souls who loved Ebenezer whom I knew, Ann Christie and Al Terrell were smiling.

Also something unexpected happened. Today I got a thank you for my contributions to Ebenezer. That is a place that is so special to me, and the thank you was heartfelt. It came from Pastor April Martin and Bertha Jackmon. Coming from them that really meant something special to me. No one really has ever publicly recognized my efforts, and it’s one of those things where no brass band was ever needed, but a simple thank you today meant the world.

My relationship with the East Whiteland Historic Commission doesn’t really exist. I genuinely like a couple of the members and a few members past and present have always been truly really nice to me, and I enjoy speaking with them and knowing them a little bit, BUT I know most of those people do not like me, and a few do not go out of their way to make me feel welcome. And part of the things that have upset me about Ebenezer was trying to talk to them over the years. None of them are bad people, but they are quite cliquish, and not necessarily welcoming to someone like me, or anyone who isn’t their normal person.

Part of what I realized today is I don’t need their approval or permission to love local history. They honestly did a really nice job with the ceremony. Ebenezer’s graveyard is nicely cleaned up. A bunch of stones have fallen over but it’s partially the site itself, and there are new homes being dug around it. The plan is to restore the stones and cap the church ruin which is perfect.

There is a brand new website and fundraising will need to be done for the future and if there are folks who can set up a non profit to help Ebenezer live long into the future visit https://www.historicebenezerbactonhill.org/

It was really nice to visit Hiram and Joshua today too.

Many thanks to Chair of the East Whiteland Supervisors Scott Lambert and Manager Steve Brown for their support of preserving this historic site and for arranging all sorts of things today and East Whiteland PD for making a sometimes busy road behave today.

Again, I will post photos over the next few days. In the future I would like to plant daffodils and snowdrops by the grave stones after they are reset.

the site might be more cleaned up, but the ruin of ebenezer on bacton hill road doesn’t have much time.

November, 2016

I have not written about the ruin of Ebeneezer AME Church on Bacton Hill Road in East Whiteland for a couple of years now. It’s not my party any longer, and truthfully there are members of East Whiteland’s Historical Commission whom I am sure would prefer I not have an interest in this site. I guess it doesn’t matter that I did a lot of work for this site, some of my friends did a lot of work for this site, and years ago when no one was paying attention I did the placement for the media coverage which was local and regional.

But I do have an interest in this site. It spoke to me years ago, and today I listened again. In 2016 a structural engineer reviewed this historic site and warned about not addressing the bowing of the longer north and south facing walls. There were also warnings of the use of heavy equipment on and close to site. Well today I got a couple of photos from the road because of what I saw a couple of weeks ago that disturbed me.

The walls are coming down. No, no one is taking them down, the years and years of neglect leave no other option for old walls.

November 13, 2022

I think this is tragic and really upsetting. But it’s not within my power to change it. It is still within the power of the AME Church, unless they have suddenly transferred the property to another entity. I also think East Whiteland Township could try to do a little more.

I asked someone for an update on the site in June and never heard a peep. OK fine, they aren’t interested in conversing with me, but now I am saying I told you so. If they want to preserve any part of the ruling of that church, they need to move a little more quickly. They also need to preserve the graves that are in the graveyard.

Ebenezer represents a heck of a lot of history and there are freed slaves, black Civil War Soldiers, and ancestors of people who still live in the area today. This site deserves respect. Respect just isn’t a historical marker, respect is a better degree of historic preservation. You can read about my coverage of Ebenezer by doing a search on this site or CLICK HERE.

#ThisPlaceMatters