St. Petersburg church seeks ownership of African-American cemetery

The battle to save lots of an historic African-American cemetery in Gulfport has become a authorized battle.

  • Two organizations need possession of Lincoln Cemetery
  • Vanessa Grey has volunteered time to wash up the cemetery
  • St. Pete church believes its higher suited to take care of it

Two organizations have expressed curiosity in taking up possession of Lincoln Cemetery.

On Saturday, Pastor Clarence Williams with the Larger Mt. Zion AME Church in St. Petersburg introduced his group has employed an lawyer to struggle for property possession of the cemetery.

For over a yr, 23-yr-previous Vanessa Grey has been working to wash up the cemetery. She tracked down earlier house owners and was handed the deed for $10. She additionally created the non-revenue, Lincoln Cemetery Society.

Throughout the identical time, Pastor Williams was additionally working to acquire possession. He even secured $ninety,000 from a part of Pinellas County’s BP oil spill settlement.

That cash is now in limbo till a rightful proprietor is decided.

Pastor Williams’ lawyer believes there have been points with the best way the deed was handed over to Vanessa Grey.

Pastor Williams stated he praises Grey for all of her onerous work with the cemetery however believes his group can be greatest telling the historical past behind it.

“The sacrifices they made, the lives they lived, the injustices they endured and their ethical material helped our society develop into higher,” Williams stated. “I feel the reference to the group and the reference to those that are buried there’s actually the facility when it comes to making an attempt to find out one of the best company and greatest match for who has management of that property.”

Grey stated she is prepared to work with everybody however feels it is very important maintain the cemetery in her group’s identify to allow them to proceed the clear-up they began a yr in the past.

Grey stated she’s additionally keen about preserving the cemetery’s historical past.

She stated she began an internet site to archive historical past and tales from the individuals buried on the cemetery and is engaged on a guide.

Grey stated she additionally has an lawyer however hopes to settle points out of courtroom.

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