Church Taking Steps to Preserve Cemetery & School Site

From the West Alabama Newsroom–

A small church in Letohatchee is taking steps to preserve a piece of it’s history — from a bygone era.

The Big Zion community is home to Big Zion AME Zion Church and cemetery. Both are located across the street — from the site of the old Big Zion School.

Wal Churchhistory0301 Mini

Church historians say the school was built to educate the children of the African-American people who settled in the area back in the early 1900s.

“In that area you have to understand that there weren’t really opportunities for them to have established education in place for black children,” said Rev. Shaundalyn Elliott.

So Moses and Mollie Primus founded Big Zion School in order to provide black children in the area with the opportunity to receive a quality education.

The school educated dozens of black children from the 1920s to the 1960s.

“I went to school there six years — from the 1st to the 6th grade — until ’68,” said Archie Primus, Jr.

Primus attended the school — until public schools were integrated.

“Big Zion School it did a lot for the people in this community,” said Primus.

“If it weren’t for that school really a lot of kids around here wouldn’t have went to school.”

Church officials are now applying with the Alabama Historical Commission — to have Big Zion School — and cemetery — recognized as a historic sites.

Categories: News, West Alabama