The Cornerstone

Cornerstone w/ great grandfather's name
Cornerstone w/ great grandfather's name

This migration story captures our family's religious journey of Christian faith that has guided it through migration as well as the triumphs and tragedies of life. Christian leadership is a generational family tie that inspires us to serve others. My great, great grandfather, Rev. Wyatt McGriff, was the pastor of Rosinvick Missionary Baptist Church in Blakely, Georgia in the 1930s. He was a mentor to my great grandfather, Rev. P.W. Williams, who was then a superintendent of Sunday School at Rosinvick. Rev. Williams married, Tena Mae, who was the daughter, of his mentor, Rev. McGriff. In 1936, the young couple left Blakely, Georgia and moved to Homestead, Florida to seek better opportunities for their growing family. In 1942, my great grandfather preached his first sermon for St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and he was called to pastor there for almost 50 years. As the congregation of St. Luke grew, Rev. Williams led the expansion of the church and, in 1963, the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church dedicated its new edifice as a place of worship and community service. In the tradition of African-American clergy, my great grandfather's community service was an integral part of his religious practice. His legacy includes several of his children, grandchildren and church members who have become religious leaders and community activists. The church and cornerstone stand today as a reminder of the faithful dedication of my ancestors and the many people whose lives have been enriched because of their migration from Georgia to Florida.

Place(s): Florida

– John Hatcher

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more