In the 134 years since Professor C.T. Walker, who was only 27 years of age at the time, Baptist Church of the Tabernacle in Augusta was much more than a single house of worship. The Georgia Historical Society recognized the contribution of the church to the Civil Rights Movement by dedicating the “Civil Rights Trail Corridor” last week.
The Revd. Charles Spencer Hamilton became a senior priest of the church in 1956 at the age of 27, and served until he retired in 1996. He was a leader in the fight to eliminate discrimination and segregation in Augusta. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Tabernacle in 1962 to support Hamilton's efforts. The church was renowned for hosting mass rallies and non-violent strategy meetings.
In his comments in the dedication ceremony, Mayor of Augusta Hardie Davis said, “Tabernacle was a place of storage for the Civil Rights Movement which was completed by our nation.
The current senior priest, Professor Dr. Charles E. Goodman Jr, who took over it in 2006 at the age of 27, always assumed a larger role in the community.
"Right here in this building, there were classes for African Americans to learn how to be a car mechanic, there was also a doctor's office here. This Church was always ahead, different, revolutionary and influential."
The Historical Society of Georgia has erected over 250 markers throughout the state for the past 20 years. Some 36 of these identify events and sites attached to the Civil Rights Movement.
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