Meeting scheduled on Lincoln Cemetery effort

Published Feb. 16, 2017

GULFPORT — A community meeting to discuss plans for the historic African-American Lincoln Cemetery, 600 58th St. S, is set for 6 p.m., Feb. 27, at Greater Mount Zion AME Church, 1045 16th St S, St. Petersburg.

Lincoln Cemetery, where African-Americans have been buried since 1926, has been neglected over the years. It is now being taken over by Cross and Anvil Human Services, the nonprofit arm of Greater Mount Zion AME Church. The Rev. Clarence Williams said the nonprofit will ensure that the 9-acre cemetery is properly maintained. There are also plans to use ground-penetrating radar to locate unmarked or sunken graves.

"We want to let them know that it's not going to be a quick process and to just try to answer any questions," Williams said of the meeting.

Funds for the effort — $90,000 — will come from Pinellas County's $7.1 million BP settlement from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Williams said he is soliciting funds from Gulfport and St. Petersburg for continued maintenance.