NEW JERSEY (WTXF) - Historic markers throughout our region often tell a painful story of the struggles of our past. One of those stories is the history of slavery and how it impacted our area. Our Bill Anderson spoke to a leader that while acknowledging our struggles wants to make sure we also celebrate the people who fought to change things. People like those at Jacob’s Chapel in Mt. Laurel a stop on the underground railroad. For Goodness Sake
If you live in Mt Laurel, New Jersey, you may have driven by Elbo Lane hundreds of times and thought nothing of it. You may have even seen the building and thought what’s the significance? But to some it's an absolutely vital part of our history that must be preserved.
“This was a safe house for people coming through the Underground Railroad. The people at this location would give them food shelter clothing and then send them to the next stop.”
It was among the darkest moments in our history but the Underground Railroad and places like Jacob’s Chapel stood as a beacon of light and Pastor Terrell Person believes it’s the least we can do to restore it.
“If these people were one step out of slavery and they built this and kept this then we don’t have a right to not go further and take this to the next level," he explained.
The site recently received an historic marker and Pastor Person is happy for that but now you can see his focus and passion has turned to making sure the historic nature of the area is appropriately recognized and rebuilt.
It's hard to overstate the significance of legacy to the people fighting to restore the meetinghouse. Pastor Person is one of many related to Dr. James Still buried at the site and known in local history as a medical trailblazer.
“He wanted to be a doctor. Knowing his parents were just out of slavery. He knew he wouldn’t be able to go to school but that did not stop the vision.”
And that was just one of the many stories he told FOX 29's Bill Anderson he plans to share once the building is restored.
Today was a history lesson of a relatively overlooked site in Mt. Laurel and a community fighting to make sure significant accomplishments that happened in our area are not simply demolished and forgotten.
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