A piece of history from Yarmouth County will have a new home at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.
On May 3, representatives of the centre – which is in Cherry Brook, just outside Dartmouth – were in Yarmouth to pick up the original pulpit of Greenville’s 165-year-old Baptist church.
A dozen years or so ago, the pulpit had been put on temporary display at the Yarmouth County Museum, but since then it had been in storage at the museum.
Craig Smith, president of the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia and one of those who made the trip to Yarmouth to pick up the pulpit, said it will be a great addition to the Black Cultural Centre.
“We’re honoured and humbled that the Greenville church and the trustees would look towards the cultural centre to be the place to house this ‘Canadian’ artifact – not just an ‘African Canadian’ artifact – that dates back to one of our older churches here in the province,” Smith said.
Having the pulpit at the cultural centre and be part of the centre’s religious display, Smith said, “is phenomenal because it speaks to the history, the heritage. It speaks to the role of religion in the community and it’s something that we hope that a lot of folks come in to see.”
Sharon Robart-Johnson, member-at-large of the board of directors of the Yarmouth County Historical Society, said the pulpit is believed to be the original one from the Greenville church when it opened in 1853.
“The Greenville church is one the oldest churches built by blacks, for blacks, and it’s still on its original site,” she said.
As for the pulpit, she recommended to those involved in the church that if they wanted the pulpit to be on public display, the Black Cultural Centre would be a good place for it.
“They said ‘yes, if it can be done, please do it,’” she said.
Meanwhile, Smith said it was a similar response when he told members of the black cultural society board that the old Greenville church pulpit was being offered for their cultural centre.
After emailing the society’s board members about the offer, Smith said, their response was, “Yes, get it. We’d love to have it.”