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Hettie Adger Cemetery/St. Paul CME Church

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January 18, 2014 by elhseven

I continue to tell people sometimes the only evidence of one’s existence

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Pipe grave-markers at Hettie Adger Cemetery

is found in a graveyard.  If you are of African descent and
you lived in Louisiana and died before 1915, your tombstone was basically your death certificate.  The state of Louisiana did not start issuing death certificates until after 1915 in Caddo/Bossier parishes.  Just think of all of those ancestors we never knew who came and gone.  Just think about all of those ancestors who came and left with no gravemarker at all.

May 2007, the parishioners of St. Paul CME Church, adjacent to Hettie Adger Cemetery, raised just under $5,000 to help maintain the grounds and make some much needed repairs.  There were gravemarkers seeping into the bordering marsh that empties into the creek, some buried in thick brush, and some simply sinking into the ground. The next couple of years a change in church administration followed by a storm, badly damaged the building and put the cemetery repairs on hold indefinitely.

This cemetery is one of the oldest in Northwest LA being designated to bury African Americans and survivors of slavery.  The church it is attached to has a vast history that goes all the way back to slavery when it was formed at Rush Point plantation located in present day Belcher, LA.  The enslaved Africans initially organized themselves while attending Carolina Bluff CME church in Plain Dealing, LA around 1800 with 19 charter members. They mobilized enough resources to branch

St. Paul C.M.E. Church Marker located in Belcher, LA

off and build a log cabin church house at Rush Point plantation in 1815. Rush Point plantation was owned by the Dickson family (of modern day Morris & Dickson Co.)  and was situated in current day Dixie, LA. Additional charter members & charter member descendents donated property and deeds to establish and rebuild the sanctuary relocated in Belcher, LA, just north of Dixie in 1880. In 1924, a new sanctuary was erected on the same deeded property. In 1961, the present day sanctuary was built and still stands today.  Hettie Adger, a long time parishioner, contributed generously to St. Paul by giving property to expand the cemetery.  The cemetery continues to remain the resting ground of many of the Adger, Bradford and African American community members in the area. My great grandmother, Stella Cade Taylor, and my great, great uncle, Oliver Cade, are also buried in this cemetery.

 

(Note: Some of this info provided orally by Clarence Glover Jr.)


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