MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Cotton Avenue Coalition is hosting the 2nd Cotton Avenue Revival Festival this weekend. It’s planned to showcase and teach people about the rich history in the area.
“Can you imagine this grandeur in the 1800s?,” said Levornia Franklin Jr., Steward Chapel AME Church pastor, referring to his church.
The 152-year old-church sits on Forsyth Street now, but more than a century ago, it was on Cotton Avenue.
“At one time, this was all the front of Cotton Avenue,” said Franklin. “It went all the way down to Mulberry.”
Steward chapel was the first black owned church in the Cotton Avenue area.
“Cotton Avenue was where all the black owned businesses were,” said Franklin.
Right behind Steward Chapel, Ruth Hartley Mosley, an important figure in Macon and healthcare, built her home to be closer to the church. She was a secretary there. Mosley died in 1975, but her home and legacy still stands.
George Muhammad serves on the Cotton Avenue Coalition along with Franklin. Together, they want to share the history with the community at the Cotton Avenue Revival Festival.
“This is an appreciation,” said Muhammad. “History’s tremendously rich in the Cotton Avenue area. Just the word cotton itself, is central to Macon’s existence and how Macon was established.”
The 2-day event will have music, food and entertainment. Tours will also be available for people to see historic buildings like the Steward Chapel Church.
“The Cotton Avenue Revival festival is to invite everybody, no matter who you are, what color you are, what gender you are to come and see these great grand places, that are still here,” said Franklin. “That people from all over the world to see and they’re right here in our city. The history is grand.”
The Cotton Avenue Revival Festival will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. It will be in downtown, down Forsyth Street near Steward Chapel. Admission is free to everyone.
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