Centenary Students Dig Into Forgotten History of School and Church

Mark Lambert
May 23, 2023

A group of students at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport has been studying the history of the United Methodist Church-affiliated school, including the roles of slaves and slave-owners in the school that was founded in south Louisiana nearly 200 years ago.

On Thursday, the students will present their findings in a series of presentations that is open via Zoom to anyone who wants to learn more about the histories of the school and the United Methodist Church in Louisiana, some of which have been buried, neglected, or even omitted for generations.

Prof. Chris Brown, Archivist of the College and of the Louisiana UMC, said the course was designed for students to do their own research “to recover the histories and honor the legacies of the people of color who contributed to the creation of Centenary, including the people who were forced to labor on behalf of the college, its faculty, and presidents.”

Brown and Dr. Jama Grove taught the course, “Local Archival Explorations – Centenary History,” which was highlighted by a class trip from Shreveport last weekend to Jackson in East Feliciana Parish, the original home of the college.

There, students researched courthouse records, visited the original Civil War-era school building, and worshipped at St. Peter United Methodist Church, a predominately Black church in nearby Clinton.

Anyone interested in seeing the presentations can log onto to Zoom anytime from 9 a.m. to noon, and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

To join the meeting, use this link with the following credentials: 

   Meeting ID: 839 4156 3500
   Passcode: Centenary

Brown said all the presentations will be posted later on Centenary’s archives webpage.

The Louisiana Conference news page will have more information on the course and the students’ findings after the presentations.
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