Local church played role in Augusta's civil rights movement

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The historic Tabernacle Baptist Church is celebrating 128 years of being involved in the community. The church and then-Pastor C. S. Hamilton played a huge role in Augusta's civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached there himself.

A window in the church shows an angel showing mercy. Pastor Charles Goodman says it's an image of what Tabernacle Baptist Church has done in its 128-year history.

During the 60s, Rev. Hamilton organized boycotts against restaurants, buses and even The Augusta Chronicle.

"He was very involved with trying to make sure there was some racial equality here in Augusta. It's always been a part of our history," said Rev. Goodman.

So much so the church has gone down in history, it's literally in the history books at the Laney Walker History Museum. News 12 found snapshots of Rev. Hamilton, Dr. King, voter registration drives and church members headed to Washington.

"When he came along, it was more about sit-ins and protests. We're in a different area," said Goodman.

Now the church puts together volunteer groups for food banks, mentors teens and helps at the Ronald McDonald House. We're told they're showing grace from the past, present and future.

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