Strieby Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheboro, North Carolina, has held Homecoming (Reunion)/Revival services on the fourth Sunday in August, for all of its 144 years so far as we have been able to ascertain. Over the past 10 years we, the descendants of the original community who grew up around the church, established in 1879, have made a concerted effort to preserve, share, and celebrate our history and heritage. Among our accomplishments have been the designation of our site, which originally included a school, as a county Cultural Heritage Site, and a Literary Landmark by United for Libraries (ALA) in honor of our founding minister, Islay Walden, a 19th century African American poet. Our site was also named to the Black Cemetery Network and the Reconstruction-Era National Historic Network.
Last year, in 2022, our history and Homecoming attracted the attention of North Carolina’s Our State Magazine and writer/editor Mark Kemp. The magazine which chooses a theme for each of its monthly issues, was planning a family reunion theme and wanted to include our story. The extensive story and beautiful pictures were featured in the August 2023 edition. I’ve included some of them here.
Kemp, M. Wolford, J. & Muthersbaugh, S., photographers. (2023 August). Peace in the Uwharries. Our State Magazine, pp. 116-127.