DUBLIN, Va. (Aug. 20, 2017) -- A church in the Town of Dublin is celebrating the anniversary of integrating with a black church in town. In 1970, Mount Pleasant and Dublin Methodist churches came together for what they called a "basket picnic" to commemorate the occasion.
Now, given the open display of racism in Charlottesville and this weekend in Boston, members say this occasion is taking on a bigger meaning.
It was over a picnic table that two churches, black and white, were united as one.
"It was a closing day for all the memory of Mt. Pleasant, but an opening day for the future of Methodists in Pulaski County," said Mattie Holmes, an original member of the all-black Mount Pleasant Methodist Church.
That same meal was shared 47 years later after Sunday's service at Dublin United Methodist Church. Holmes, who is now 93, says the churches meant a lot to the black community back then.
"At that particular time, the county still had not offered us any formal education beyond the ninth grade, and that means that the churches and any other local businesses that could hire a school, that was where we went to school," said Holmes.