Warnersville Celebrates 150 YearsSpecial to the Carolina Peacemaker / September 4, 2015
The Warnersville community celebrated 150 years with a three day celebration that will be remembered for years to come.
Warnersville was the first African American community in Greensboro founded for freed slaves, and it was recently awarded the distinction of being the first ever Heritage Community in the State of North Carolina. In addition, the community was the recipient of the North Carolina Council of Museums Award of Excellence for its exhibit at the Greensboro Historical Museum entitled, “Warnersville Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories.” This exhibit has been extended to February 14, 2016.
Friday night at The Bennett College Global Learning Center was standing room only as the community celebrated its rich history under the theme, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” This was a walk through history as the community outlined their past, present and future. Focus was on the resurgence of the Warnersville community and its new developments which include the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club and Union Square, which was named by residents of the Warnersville community.
Distinguished guests included Congress woman Alma Adams, State Representatives Ralph Johnson and Gladys Robinson, along with Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and a host of local elected officials. Some highlights of the evening were the warm greeting extended by Bennett College President, Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall. She acknowledged the birth of Bennett College in the Warnersville community. An original documentary was presented by researcher Lisa Scheer, emphasizing the impact of redevelopment on this community.
Saturday, the celebration continued with the 7th Annual Heritage and Music Festival at Warnersville Community Center. This event featured a live concert by local artists with special appearances by Art Stewart (a James Brown impersonator) and Warnersville’s own Jay-Bird. The crowd was dazzled by the performances as well as a mini parade led by the award winning Aycock Drumline and the Warnersville football teams. “This was a great day for Warnersville and the community said James Griffin, executive director of the Warnersville Community Coalition. This was a once in a lifetime celebration and we will never pass this way again. We want to leave a legacy for our youth and cement our place in history.”
On Sunday, Pastor Steve Allen and the members of Shiloh Baptist Church opened the church’s doors for a Gospel Music Extravaganza. The concert was the culmination of the three day celebration and on all accounts it touched the soul of everyone present. The concert was hosted by all four gospel personalities from WNAA 90.1 FM. Choirs from churches that originated in Warnersville delivered a spirit filled extravaganza that kept the audience on their feet. Participating churches included Gethsemane Baptist, Mt. Pleasant Christian, New Zion, Prince of Peace Lutheran, Saint James Baptist, Saint Matthews United Methodist, Saint Phillips AME Zion, Shiloh, and Wells Memorial COGIC. The evening concluded with a combined performance of all the choirs singing “Total Praise” led by Pamela Stewart. This was truly a phenomenal experience to witness and be a part of.
To learn more about Greensboro’s Warnersville community, obtain DVD’s and the Historical Souvenir Booklet, please email: JamesGriffin1204@gmail.com.