Some of the proceeds from the sale of each print is donated to Queen Chapel A.M.E. Church.
May it continue to provide for the needs of the community and represent a place of freedom and love.
Queen Chapel A.M.E. Church Est. 1865
Historical Marker, 2015
1865 Church bell from Queen Chapel A.M.E. Church
It was such an honor to have been chosen to paint the commemorative piece for this historical event, which included the placement of a historical marker.
Queen Chapel A.M.E. Church celebrated its 150th Year Anniversary. It is the oldest continuous A.M.E. Church in the State of South Carolina.
This painting symbolizes the beginning of a new day and a new found freedom. It is the moment when you first believed.
In this painting, I saw so many stories to tell.
However, a dear friend viewed this piece when it was finished and he began to tell a story of a first love, which I didn't notice.
The young boy sitting on the steps of the church sees a pretty little girl. She has caught his attention and immediately he loves her.
It made me think of the moment when we first believed. How pure our love for Him was, much like a child's first love.
In history there was a time when we were not allowed to worship and pray, but God made a way.
Rev. Richard Harvey Cain, James H.A. Johnson and James Handy arrived on Hilton Head on the Steamship Argo on May 12, 1865, and established Queen Chapel AME Church. They were on their way to Charleston, but a storm arose and the ministers were forced to land on Hilton Head Island in the area called Cherry Hill. As they waited for the storm to pass over, they decided to have services with prayers and singing under a large oak tree. This was to be an historic event because it was when African Methodism was reorganized in the State of South Carolina. Queen Chapel AME Church was built and would become the mother church.”
Queen Chapel is important to the community, its denomination and to America. It was part of the unshackling of the nation's shameful period of slavery.
Freedom came first to its neighborhood because Union troops captured Hilton Head in a single afternoon shortly after the Civil War began. Former slaves flowed to the island like water running downhill, knowing the federal troops meant freedom and protection.
But the war didn't come with a manual on how to cope with all the issues of freedom -- housing, education, land ownership, labor, military service, civil rights, legal status, law enforcement, marriage, clothing, sustenance, religion. The church quickly became the keystone, touching and organizing all aspects of life.
The Christian religion gave the slave, and then the freed slave, hope in a troubled life. Trust that they would someday march into a "New Jerusalem," rang through the spirituals so easily transported from church to work.
The church faces many challenges today, just as it did in 1865, but it is still here. Whether from under a live oak, a tent or inside a stately sanctuary, the church still offers rest for the weary, a stepping-stone into a brighter future here on Earth, and hope for all eternity.