St. James Baptist Church unveils state historical marker - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Lowcountry church unveils state historical marker

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

St. James Baptist Church, unveiled a state historical marker on Friday for the Cherry Hill School, which sits across the street from the church. 

More 100 people, including county and local officials attended the  ceremony -- even some of the former Cherry Hill students attended the event.

"Today is a good day, we've worked for more than 13 years to make this happen and it's finally here," said Pastor Charles Hamilton.

St. James Baptist Church and Cherry Hill school are the only Gullah institutions that remain in the area of historic Mitchelville, which is the country's first self-governing town for freed and escaped slaves.

Mitchelville was laid out in 1862, after the union captured the land.

Church members said the ceremony is the beginning of a push to create a town historic district that will include other churches in this area.  

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