On remembering the founders of St. Philips Moravian Church

In May 2022 Eric wrote a guest editorial for the Winston-Salem Journal, asking for the honoring of the foundational enslaved members of the congregation with a marker near the spot of the group’s first meetings. His comments were in response to the placement of a marker about the church’s founding which mentioned only an enslaver’s home and not the known congregants. His arguments were based on what was documented by the Moravian Church as the foundational meetings of the group for at least the first forty years of its existence. Old Salem’s Director of Moravian Research Martha Hartley countered with an editorial saying the date mentioned in the marker has become the accepted date recognized by the church, while acknowledging the need for a marker at the site of the church’s first meeting place. Part of the reason Eric wrote the piece was to get the Church and community to acknowledge that ambivalence about telling its involvement with slavery might have affected how it remembered the church’s origin celebrations, and that important faith stories were being lost in the process.

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