Tabernacle to celebrate placement of markers

Published 12:54 am Saturday, March 1, 2014

Selma’s Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church will host a dedication service and unveiling for two new signs celebrating the church’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Pastor Otis Dion Culliver said the markers, which will both be placed near the structure’s Broad Street entrance, are another way the community can come together to honor the work of past church members and leaders.

“One of the markers will honor the church’s contribution to social justice and the other will commemorate the Christian stewardship displayed throughout our history,” Culliver said.

He said the work of the church’s two longest-tenured pastors, Louis Lloyd Anderson and Dr. D.V. Jemison, will be honored during Saturday’s event.

Jemison was also one of the four former pastors of Tabernacle to hold the title of President of the National Baptist Convention, something Culliver said brings great pride to church leaders and members.

“The church has had four presidents of the National Baptist Convention come from here, and it’s a rich history that we are going to celebrate Saturday while also looking toward the future this weekend,” Culliver said. “I mean, the first mass meeting for the voter’s rights movement was held here, the courageous eight were part of this church. This will be a great day.”

Culliver said he plans for the event to honor not only the works performed by church members in the past, but to upon those acts for inspiration when confronting challenges in the present and the future.

“We, as a community, are here at a very unique time in history, as we were 50 years ago,” Culliver said. “And we consider ourselves lucky to be here today, as the leaders of our church did back then.”

The keynote speaker for Saturday’s event will be Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., who was with Rev. Anderson during the first mass meeting for the voter’s rights movement.

Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church is located at 1431 Broad St., and Culliver said the public are welcome to attend.