May 11, 2022

Special ceremony will commemorate historic cemetery on FMU campus

Special ceremony will commemorate historic cemetery on FMU campus

Trinity Baptist Church and Francis Marion University will host a ceremony honoring those buried in a historic cemetery on the university’s campus.


The ceremony will occur on Sunday, May 22 at 1:00pm at the cemetery located near Ervin Dining Hall and will be officiated by the Rev. Calvin Robinson, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church of Florence. Bishop Donald Jackson, pastor of Fellowship of Christians Movement in Florence and a member of FMU staff, will assist with the ceremony.


The historic cemetery contains the remains of an unknown number of individuals believed to be of African descent who lived and worked on the property where the university now stands. Some of those buried in the cemetery were enslaved.


FMU has partnered with Trinity Baptist in ongoing efforts to preserve, maintain, and interpret the historic site. The partnership began when the university decided to move forward with archeological work around the historic cemetery to learn more about the site and the identities of those buried there. 


Preserving and maintaining the history of this cemetery complements FMU’s mission of educating the university community and the general public about the history and culture of the region. The partnership with Trinity Baptist Church ensures that this will be accomplished in the most respectful and reverent manner possible.


FMU plans to hold religious services or other ceremonies at or near the cemetery, as well as produce educational materials where appropriate.