As part of the celebration of the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Willow Hill School, the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center will host a Sons and Daughters of Willow Hill Revival, July 29-31.
Revival services, which begin each night at 7:30 p.m., will be held at the Willow Hill School, 4235 Willow Hill Road, off U.S. Highway 80 West near Portal.
Speakers for the event are Minister Joyce Davis-Lane of St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church (Tuesday, July 29); Elder Joseph Mosley of Banks Creek Primitive Baptist Church with special guest, the Rev. Dr. Eldridge Lee (Wednesday, July 30), and Elder Donald Chavers of Agape Worship Center (Thursday, July 31).
This event is free and open to the public.
The Willow Hill School was started by freed slaves in 1874, nine years after the Civil War ended. When it closed in 1999, Willow Hill had been a school for 125 years and was the longest active school in existence in Bulloch County, said event coordinator Dr. Gayle Jackson.
The current Willow Hill building was constructed in 1954 as part of a statewide effort to protect racial segregation by improving schools for African-American children, she said. This was done under the "separate but equal" doctrine, ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, also in 1954.
"Willow Hill has been recognized by the Georgia Historical Society as one of the ‘best examples of Equalization Schools' in the state and will receive a Georgia historical marker Aug. 30," Jackson said.