The Georgia Trust’s Places in Peril program seeks to identify and preserve historic sites threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.
The list raises awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes. Through this program, the Trust encourages owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ preservation tools, partnerships and resources necessary to preserve and utilize selected historic properties in peril.
“This is the Trust’s seventeenth annual Places in Peril list,” said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. “To date, 95% of past Places in Peril sites are still in existence. We hope the list will continue to bring preservation solutions to Georgia’s imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites.”
The idea to apply to be put on this list originated from Dave Cranford, member of Trinity in Cochran and on the Diocesan Council, “I had the pleasure of attending Evening Prayer at Good Shepherd and touring the school. I immediately felt a strong connection to the place and all that it represents. It’s truly sacred ground and the historic structures are worthy of documentation. I heard about the list, and thought it would be a good fit for Good Shepherd and passed that on to Dwala Nobles.”
Dwala, member of Good Shepherd and part of the vestry took the project and application process head on. “This is a seminal moment for us as a community and diocese. Now a Saint in the Episcopal Church, Anna Alexander could not have imagined 122 years ago in 1899 when she graduated from St. Paul’s Normal and Industrial School that her legacy would be sustained to the degree that we are witnessing today. With the assistance of her brothers, Anna built a little log church that also served as a school, later moved the building to its current site, and built a larger structure around the original. The church, made of Georgia pine logs stand strongly within the interior walls; however, the passage of time and lack of use have significantly compromised the building.”
Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reuse, reinvest and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.
With the guidance of the Georgia Trust, Good Shepherd hopes to revitalize the school and offer it as a place not just for members of Good Shepherd to enjoy, but to provide a resource to the Pennick community. “Our commitment to the restoration of the schoolhouse represents our commitment to work as Anna did in the rebuilding of beloved community—in Pennick, Glynn County, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and beyond. When completed, the restored building will serve as the diocesan educational center for racial justice and reconciliation. It will also serve as a food bank and community center. Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Pennick, extend our gratitude to The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation for their support and training. We appreciate Frank Logue, our Bishop, and look forward to his continued guidance. Ultimately, these partnerships will improve the lives of countless citizens—just as Saint Anna did as a teacher, deaconess, and community leader,” said Dwala.
Senior Warden and former student of Deaconess Anna Alexander, Walter Holmes, shared his gladness for the project, knowing that support from the Diocese in her lifetime. He said, “She [Anna] did a pretty good job with the resources available to her to build the school, including from folks as far away as France.” He added that, “The diocese didn’t help her until they saw what she was able to accomplish on her own. So, I think it’s good that they are now trying to help.”
If you have expertise in historic preservation, architecture, non-profit grant-writing, and/or capital campaigns for churches, and you are interested in donating time and passion to this project, please contact Dwala Nobles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the 2022 list and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, click here.
Read this article originally published in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia’s news publication, From the Field.