St. Peter's AME Zion Church
Backstory and Context
In December of 1922, a fire started at Rowland Lumber and destroyed 40 acres of land, including St Peter's. Church members rebuilt the sanctuary in phases from 1923 through 1940. As time progressed, modifications were made to the outside of the church and a balcony was added in 1928.
On January 24th, 1965, a five-county NAACP rally was being held inside the church. Three members of the Ku Klux Klan targeted and bombed two cars outside of the church that belonged to NAACP members/ Three men, Raymond Mills, Laurie Fillingame, and Edward Fillingame were arrested for the three bombs. A three-day trial concluded with the men pleading guilty but only received suspended sentences that resulted in nothing more than three years of probation and court costs. The following year, two other churches in the area were attacked by KKK members.
“Executive Order 9981, July 26, 1948”; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives. ourdocuments.gov,https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=84. Accessed 6 Feb. 2017.
Feldmeth, Greg D. Key Events in the American Civil Rights Movement. Mar. 1998, U.S. History
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Hand, Bill. “New Bern Church Targeted by the KKK.” New Bern Sun Journal, 1 Nov. 2015, http://www.newbernsj.com/20150123/new-bern-church-targeted-by-the-kkk/301239845.
Hand, Bill. "Program highlights local civil rights efforts in the 1960s." Sun Journal, 28 Feb.
2015.http://www.newbernsj.com/article/20150228/News/302289922. Accessed 4 Feb. 2017.
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“Integration Here To Stay.” The Carolina Times, 01 May 1954, p. 2.
Tagge, George. “3 Arrested in Rights Bombing.” Chicago Tribune, First, 30 Jan. 1965, p. 18.