The Mississippi Freedom Trail has erected a commemorative marker outside William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Ruleville, Mississippi. There is another Mississippi Freedom Trail marker a few blocks away commemorating Fannie Lou Hamer.
William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church is located at the corner of O.B. Avenue and Elisha & Everette Langdon Street in Ruleville, Mississippi.
The Mississippi Freedom Trail marker in front of the William Chapel M.B. Church reads:
“The historic William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, established in 1922, was a long time meeting place for civil rights activists before the organization of the modern civil rights movement. In 1962 the Rev. J.D. Story was the pastor when Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) members came to Ruleville to start a voter registration drive. While attending a mass meeting at William Chapel, Fanny Lou Hamer was inspired to register to vote for the first time.”
This church and its Pastor, Rev. J.D. Story played a significant role in the civil rights movement’s activities in Ruleville and Sunflower County.
Along with its civil rights history, William Chapel M.B. Church was also the site of Fannie Lou Hamer‘s funeral in March 1977. The eulogy was delivered by Andrew Young, then a U.S. delegate at the United Nations.
Here are some documentaries about Fanny Lou Hamer and Voting Rights in Mississippi.
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