OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) – A church in western Kentucky once visited by scientist and educator George Washington Carver is destined for an historic marker commemorating his visit.
The Kentucky Historical Society’s Historical Marker Program recently officially recognized Pleasant Point Missionary Baptist Church near Owensboro.
Carver visited the church during Black Chautauqua from July 16 to 26, 1909.
Church pastor the Rev. Rhondalyn Randolph told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that the church kept records of the visit over the years, but the marker will give the public something permanent to see.
“It’s been a tedious process, and we still have work to do. But we all know it’ll be worth it,” Randolph said.
Among the criteria for the approval by the society are having services in the same building for more than 100 years and having hosted a prominent national figure.
An official ceremony for the installation will be held after the church raises $2,500 for the marker.
The church cemetery is already registered with the state, as a high number of black veterans, from the Civil War to the
Vietnam War, are buried there. Its history will be featured on one side of the marker.
As the women sought verification of their research, they contacted the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Mo., where Carver was born, and the George Washington Carver Museum at the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site in Tuskegee, Ala., where Carver taught and led research for 47 years.
Both places are run by the National Park Service.
“We had the documents showing his travel schedule in that area at the time, but the stop at the church was new information for us,” said Chief Ranger Diane Eilenstein, of the monument.