Blessing of grounds Wednesday for International African American Museum

The International African American Museum continues to make progress toward its goal of opening its doors to the community at the end of January.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 5:02 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 7:49 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The International African American Museum continues to make progress toward its goal of opening its doors to the community at the end of January.

The museum broke ground in 2020 after 20 years of planning. It’s been built from the ground up costing shy of $100 million dollars.

Wednesday, the presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church will be in town for a pre-opening worship service and sacred blessing of the grounds.

The museum’s President and CEO Tonya Mathews said Bishop Curry will lead on Wednesday both a worship service which will be open to the public and a private Blessing of the Water and Sacred Ground.

Mathews said the blessing of the grounds is meant to reclaim the site of Gadsden’s Wharf, an Atlantic Passage through which thousands of enslaved Africans entered the harbor.

She said during the blessing they will walk the grounds, pray, and have a moment of quiet- not only with the trauma but with the resilience and love that had to come out of the space to get them where they are today.

“This is our history. It may be tough history, it may be challenging history, but it’s also good and victorious history, and it’s our story. These stories we tell are international and national, but so many of them are rooted right here in the Lowcountry, right here in South Carolina. And we deserve to tell our own story,” Mathews said.

The public worship service will be held at Mount Moriah Baptist Church in North Charleston starting at 6 p.m. Mathews said Curry will lead the worship service and will offer a message of hope and words of inspiration to people of all backgrounds and beliefs in the Lowcountry and beyond.

She said she encourages the community to come out and join them in worship and celebration.

For a link to sign up for the worship service, click here.