The Stoutsburg Cemetery Association and the Sourland Conservancy will be hosting the second annual Camp Meeting Revival on Aug. 26 to benefit the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum.
The historic reenactment of a camp meeting revival will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Skillman Park, located on Main Boulevard in Skillman. Renowned gospel singer Bertha Morgan and Capital City Gospel Singers are set to perform during the reenactment. Tickets are $25 in advance online or $30 at the gate, $10 for children ages 7 to 12, and free for younger children. In the event of inclement weather, the reenactment will be moved inside to the Second Calvary Church in Hopewell.
The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, currently in the planning stages, will be housed in the one-room Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church on Hollow Road—one of the most historic buildings in the Sourlands.
Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills, Stoutsburg Cemetery board members, have long dreamed of creating a museum to highlight the important untold story of African Americans in the Sourland region. They are currently writing a book, If these Stones Could Talk, to tell the whole story about New Jersey history and celebrate their ancestors and other African Americans in New Jersey, previously missing from the historical record.
“The story of the African American experience in the Sourlands and Hopewell Valley has been grossly under represented—the past contributions of the African American slaves and free people in this region including military service, beginning with the Revolutionary War up to the present,” Mills said. “This was a community of people who thrived against startling odds and their history is rich with compelling stories.”
The Camp Meeting Revival is one of two annual fundraising events the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association and the Sourland Conservancy host for museum. Proceeds from a Gospel Brunch, as well as donations from members and volunteers, have helped to lay the groundwork for the project.
For more information about the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, follow their Facebook page or call 609-309-5155.