Three Raleigh churches are at the center of an effort to preserve and respect a piece of the city’s history.
Wilson Temple United Methodist Church, Oberlin Baptist Church and White Memorial Presbyterian Church, along with other interested community partners, make up the Friends of Oberlin Village.
The group takes special care of Oberlin Cemetery in the historic Oberlin Village neighborhood, which was established shortly after the Civil War and was the largest freedmen’s village in Wake County during Reconstruction.
Oberlin Village was a thriving community of mostly middle-class African-Americans from 1870 to 1950 and boasted a high concentration of artisans.
“The maintenance of the Oberlin Cemetery is one of Wilson Temple United Methodist Church’s outreach ministries, since many founding members are interred there,” said Karen Throckmorton, a member of the church’s board of directors. “It is a wonderful way to honor our history while meeting new Oberlin Village residents.”
Historians say the cemetery was established around 1873, although it may have been used earlier as a graveyard for slaves. It lacks street frontage, and experts say that is probably because of an early desire for privacy.
The cemetery is on almost 3 acres of land, and several projects have been done to see how many people are buried there. Researchers guess the property holds as many as 600 graves, but only 145 monuments are visible.
The monuments are made of materials that varied with the ages, including wood, fieldstone, cement and marble.
Burials ended at the Oberlin Cemetery around 1971 when it became full.
Work continues to preserve this plot of Raleigh’s history. Volunteers are invited to the cemetery’s fall cleanup day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 8. Participants are encouraged to bring work gloves and gardening tools.
The cemetery is located at 1014 Oberlin Road, near Cameron Village. Access is through a private drive at the north end of the Interact property.
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh will welcome internationally acclaimed violinist Natasha Korsakova for a performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9.
Korsakova will perform the music of Bach, Vitali, Vieuxtemps and Piazzolla.
She was born into a musical family in Russia and began playing the violin at age 5. Her first teacher was her grandfather, Boris Korsakov, and she has also studied with her father, violin virtuoso Andrei Korsakov.
Korsakova has played the Moscow Conservatory, the Berlin Philharmonic and Tokyo’s Santory Hall.
At St. Michael’s, she will be joined on stage by the church’s organist, Kevin Kerstetter, pianist Ariadna Nacianceno and soprano Katherine Kaufman Posner.
Tickets are available online at holymichaelmusic.org. The church is located at 1520 Canterbury Road, Raleigh.
Country Fair and Silent Auction
The Raleigh Christian Women’s Connection will meet for the annual Country Fair and Silent Auction from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the N.C. State University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St., Raleigh.
In addition to Christmas shopping, the event will feature inspirational speaker Yvonne Ortega, who will offer tips on what to do when forgiveness is difficult.
Lunch costs $16 and includes free nursery care for children. To attend, email email@example.com by Nov. 7.
A North Raleigh congregation is welcoming a new leader. Pastor Pam Northrup has been installed at St. Philip Lutheran Church.
Northrup is a former middle school special education teacher who has worked for the state of North Carolina and the town of Cary as a training and development specialist. She earned a master’s of divinity degree and has pastoral experience at churches in Southern Pines and Palm Coast, Fla.
She believes that ministering to people is a shared partnership, and she welcomes others to the journey.
Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at firstname.lastname@example.org.