Historic Markers Across Georgia

Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery

Marker ID: GHS  29.6
Location: Fourth and Bray Sts, by Springfield Baptist Church, Athens, GA
County: Clarke
Coordinates: N 33° 58.193    W 083° 21.735
  33.96988333    -83.36225
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM6MCG
Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery  Marker  


The Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery was founded in 1882 by the Gospel Pilgrim Society, a fraternal organization, to furnish respectable funerals and burial places for Athens-area African Americans. Popular in the nineteenth century, such societies offset funeral costs and ensured a funeral procession and proper burial for members. The cemetery illustrates a Reconstruction-era departure in the black community from burial sites associated with specific churches. Gospel Pilgrim also contains fine examples of African-American funerary art. Approximately 3500 persons are buried here, including state legislator Madison Davis and nationally recognized folk artist Harriet Powers.

2008.8 Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and East Athens Development Corporation, Inc. 29-6