The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
Bill Warwaryick, a member of the Barrhead congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is looking forward to the spring of 2024 when permanent markers will finally be installed in the historic Bethel Baptist Cemetery near Campsie, Alberta. Since 1997, the Barrhead Ward has led reclamation efforts of this historic Black cemetery.
Black Settlers in Alberta
In the early 1900s, Black settlers seeking a better life immigrated to Alberta from the United States. They subsequently established four communities in the province.
One such settlement is Campsie, a rural community in Barrhead County, northwest of Edmonton. A Baptist Church was built, and the Bethel Baptist Cemetery was established. During 1920 to 1948, 13 individuals are known to have been buried in the cemetery.
From about 1950, for an unknown reason, burials were no longer permitted in the cemetery, and the cemetery ceased to be maintained. The forest grew in over the graves. Over the years, all descendants of the early Black pioneers left the area.
In 1997, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Latter-day Saint pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley of present-day Utah, Church leaders designated a worldwide day of community service. Congregations were invited to celebrate Pioneer Heritage Service Day by contributing 150 hours of service to their local communities.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.