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East Lincoln gathering celebrates black history

UNC-Charlotte English professor Jeffrey Leak addresses attendees of a Black History Month event on Saturday.

UNC-Charlotte English professor Jeffrey Leak addresses attendees of a Black History Month event on Saturday.

PHIL PERRY
Senior Writer

The East Lincoln Community Center played host to an event that celebrated black history in eastern Lincoln County on Saturday. Denver’s “Mundy House” served as the sponsor for the event.

The Eastern Lincoln County Historical Society, a branch of the Lincoln County Historical Association, which owns the Mundy House, provided volunteers for the event, which was organized by Betty Gwynn, Gary Jones, Frances Sigmon, Melisa Thompson and Richard Thompson.

With the theme, “honoring our past, securing our future” observed by attendees, more than 100 members of the community participated in worship through song, prayer and messages from members of the eastern Lincoln County black community.

After a moving message from master of ceremonies Lewis McClean of Rock Hill United Methodist Church and invocation from Rev. Al McCorkle, keynote speaker Dr. Jeffrey Leak addressed the crowd regarding his journey and the importance community fellowship.

“I don’t believe in ‘happenstance,’” Leak said, as he began to address those in attendance. “For me, this means that God, our creator and sustainer of all there is, has brought us together for a reason today — a noble purpose.”

The Charlotte native and faculty president at UNC-Charlotte spoke of the importance of history and the process of embracing it and the realization that a history lesson can come from a multitude of resources. His message was poignant and embraced through cheers from those in attendance.

“This kind of gathering is what we, as in those of us in academia, should participate in. It’s easy to hide behind a desk,” Leak said. “We should never put things before people. I truly feel blessed to have been here today.”

The Lowesville community choir led attendees in song and encouraged crowd participation, which was reciprocated.

Lincoln County Historical Association Director Jason Harpe was presented with an award.

“We are honoring the outstanding commitment to achieving success in community service and activities at the Mundy House and History Center of Eastern Lincoln County,” Gwynn said.

Former East Lincoln gridiron standout Kevin Nixon honored brothers Chazz Surratt and Sage Surratt for their outstanding athletic achievements but, perhaps most importantly, their commitments to academic excellence and community involvement.

Eastern Lincoln County’s Mundy House serves as a hub for community events, artifact preservation and history research. The house has a connection to the African-American community. The home was built by descendants of Jeremiah Mundy, a Revolutionary War soldier and Methodist minister, and included a farm where many local black families worked and sharecropped with other Mundy descendants. The house is now owned by the Lincoln County Historical Association, and has undergone restoration this past year, maintaining most of its original architecture. It is the home of the History Center of Eastern Lincoln County with photographs, historical records and artifacts. It will also be available for meetings and social gatherings as an adjacent structure will be open later this year to accommodate community meetings and larger events that the house cannot facilitate due to space constraints.

Visit lincolncountyhistory.com for more information on related events.

Image courtesy of Phil Perry

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