150 mark centenary of tablet for Augusta

Erelong in that city a great multitude shall enter the Kingdom of God, the Flag of the oneness of the world of humanity will cast its shade over that state and the Song of the Supreme Concourse will be raised from its glens and dales.

A century ago, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed these words — in a letter to early believer Joseph H. Hannen — to the fledgling Bahá’í community of Augusta, Georgia.

On June 7, about 150 people traveled from several states and Barbados to celebrate the centenary of this remarkable tablet.

And mutual awareness of the city’s and Bahá’í community’s history will only grow. Historian Corey Rogers made a presentation at the event tracing Augusta’s past and Bahá’í Louis Venters spoke on the early history of the Faith in Augusta, Georgia, and North Augusta, South Carolina. Afterward, they made plans to collaborate on future research.

Kenneth E. Bowers, secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly, gave the keynote address, putting the Bahá’í presence in Augusta in a context of the Faith’s development and humanity’s destiny. Bowers is from Augusta, as were his mother and grandmother — both of them Bahá’ís.

The afternoon concluded with acknowledgements of two outstanding Augustans, Ruth Crawford, a 99-year-old retired schoolteacher and founder of the Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center, and Yvonne Harrop, a Bahá’í who relocated from Evanston, Illinois, to Augusta in 1957. Each was presented with a gift for her outstanding service to the Augusta community over many decades.

Later, the Augusta Spiritual Assembly expressed its hopes the celebration “will be the beginning of reintroducing the Faith and sharing the message of Bahá’u’lláh with the greater community of Augusta.”

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