Historic church holds annual memorial (VIDEO)



Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Neshoba County was burned to the ground in 1964 because it was used to help educate African Americans.

Over 50 years later, the church still remembers three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, who were murdered in Neshoba County for working to get African Americans registered to vote in Mississippi.

Mt. Zion member, Jewel McDonald, says the church holds a service each year to remember them and the struggle for civil rights.

“You have to teach people what happened here; this is sacred ground here,” McDonald said. “People come here and say they feel a difference when they step out of their car here so it’s so important for us to do it.”

Neshoba County District 5 supervisor Obbie Riley agrees that it’s necessary to gather every year for this cause.

“This is the 55th. It’s so important we continue to remember the sacrifices that were made by these young men whose lives were taken away from them while they were here doing work, trying to better the community,” Riley said.

Sunday’s memorial ceremony also offered attendees the opportunity to register to vote while there.