PC Students Engage in Service Project at Piedmont Presbyterian ChurchMarch 7, 2023
Nearly two dozen students went to the small, rural church to clear brush and debris on the church property, including an overgrown area where formerly enslaved people were buried and whose graves are all but forgotten.
The group partnered members of Student Volunteer Services, PC’s branch of the NAACP, and the Multicultural Student Union with members of the mission organization Mission Possible and other community leaders. Before they went to work, the group met Laura Cook, a historical archaeologist and Laurens County Museum director, who taught them a lesson on cemetery etiquette and preservation.
“The experience allowed students to learn more about the rich history surrounding a church so near to our own PC community,” said PC senior and SVS intern Dessa Jones. “It was extremely impactful to see members of our community join together to do good work in a unique way. This service event became a unique sort of learning opportunity during which students were taught about new topics and experienced a new type of service.”
As part of PC’s Black History Month celebration, it was not lost on students that they were preserving a piece of local black history.
“Many students were honored to have a hand in keeping the culture alive,” said Enia Woodard, a junior and the president of MSU. “As we served, we also had an opportunity to see the school building where the slaves received their education, which was an incredible feeling. In addition to learning that the church was built by former slaves, I must say to have had a chance to preserve many pieces of history so history can continue to be revealed was remarkable!”
PC junior Kennedy Elise Perry, president of the college’s NAACP chapter, said the organization for honored to participate in an event promoting equity, inclusivity, and respect for all people. She added that it was encouraging to see a diverse group of fellow students representing service organizations and fraternities working together in unity and exemplifying PC’s motto, “While We Live, We Serve.”
“We believe service and pouring into our community allow a more significant impact,” she said. “Piedmont Presbyterian Church is a place of hope and unity for our community; it is a place of living history that we must respect and honor.”