Black Catholic church celebrates 75th anniversary

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church will continue its 75th anniversary this week.

Black Catholic church celebrates 75th anniversary
October 20
01:30 2016

Photos by Timothy Ramsey



St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church will continue to celebrate its 75th anniversary this week.  The church will hold a presentation on historical awareness of Winston-Salem as it relates to the legacy of African-Americans and St. Benedict the Moor today, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m.

An anniversary luncheon also is planned for Saturday, Oct. 22 from 1-3 p.m.

St. Benedict was established in 1940 to serve African-American Catholics living the in the Winston-Salem/East Winston community.  The church was named in honor of St. Benedict the Moor, a Franciscan Friar who lived a holy life of prayer and charity. He is the patron saint of African-Americans.

The church was founded by Bishop Eugene McGuiness, bishop of the diocese of Raleigh. The church established two schools, St. Anne’s Academy and St.Benedict’s grammar school.

According to organizers, the history of the parish and community will be discussed during the presentation on today.  The program will elaborate on the history of African-Americans in the Winston-Salem community from the early 20th century to the present.

Dr. Linwood G. Davis will lead the Winston-Salem history presentation. He is a professor emeritus atWinston-Salem State University, where he worked in the social sciences department.  Davis has been called “The world’s most prolific living bibliographer.”

Over the past three years, St. Benedict’s history committee has been engaged with scholars from Wake Forest University in researching an authentic history of the Parish. Tanya Zanish-Belcher, director of special collections & archives for Wake Forest has been involved in this research and will lead the presentation of this work.

A pictorial display of Winston-Salem’s African-American history will be available for the audience to see up close from the 1940s up until this point. Pictures will be on loan from the New Winston Museum.

Church officials says the presentation will be an eye-opener for the community.  They invite everyone, especially school-aged children and their parents to join them for the informative walk through a portion of Winston-Salem’s African-American history.

Church member Cedric Russell of Russell Funeral Home said it’s important that the people of Winston-Salem know about the history of the church and school.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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