JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — While the city continues efforts to acquire ownership of the old Macedonia Cemetery, two groups from Student Leadership Johns Creek have committed to restoring the historic grounds.
The Macedonia Cemetery has more than 100 burial sites of formerly enslaved African Americans and their descendants.
City historians say the Macedonian Methodist African church took ownership of the property at the turn of the 20th century, and over time, constructed a church and began to use part of the property as a cemetery. Over the years, the congregation dwindled, and the church and the graveyard fell into disrepair. The church has since been demolished and removed.
The cemetery has endured vandalism, and in recent years, the city has stepped in to maintain the property.
The property, approximately 2 acres, lies just off State Bridge Road and Medlock Bridge Road. It is home to some 105 to 114 marked and unmarked graves. The Johns Creek Historical Society has worked to identify more than 50 of the people buried at this site.
Groups from Centennial and Northview high school in Student Leadership Johns Creek will work under supervision of the Johns Creek Historical Society to clean and restore headstones and footstones. Unmarked graves will be mapped and identified, all with the intent to restore the area into a place of peace with a memorial garden.
"By learning about the Macedonia Cemetery, I discovered that it is crucial to understand Johns Creek's history and spread awareness of such areas in order to restore and honor our community's history," Northview group leader Tara Ramesh said.
Centennial team member Lauren Larsen noted that “through working at the cemetery, I've learned valuable information about Johns Creek's history and the people buried at the cemetery. It's important to preserve this knowledge for generations to come."
Each year, first-year members of Student Leadership Johns Creek are tasked with finding a community project.
In addition, they have created an informational video at youtu.be/fJv_f-G_B5A. An educational webinar, set for Feb. 4, is planned to allow community members to learn more about the site from members of the Johns Creek Historical Society.
Student Leadership Johns Creek has been a valued member of the Johns Creek community for 8 years and is currently accepting applications for this two-year program from rising sophomores and juniors at Centennial, Chattahoochee, Johns Creek, Northview and Innovation Academy. For more information, please contact: Executive Director Irene Sanders Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, 404-406-0480 or visit studentleadershipjohnscreek.com.