Maury County African American History

Goal: To chronicle the history of the Black community in Maury County through documents, photographs, oral history, interviews and videos.

Members of the Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church, Columbia, Tennessee

Information was compiled and presented to Tennessee State Archives by Sandra Seaton.

History of the Founders of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church

Lyman Johnson: Civil rights leader and grandson of Dyer Johnson, one of the founders of Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church (biography, The Rest of the Dream: The Black Odyssey of Lyman Johnson)
View Johnson obituary from the New York Times, October 6, 1997.

To learn more about the Dyer Johnson Family and the Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church, view the Dyer Johnson Family Papers

College Hill School was the elementary and high school for African Americans in Columbia, Tennessee during the era of segregation. Although it received much less than its fair shares of material resources, it was graced with outstanding principals and teachers. Two of the most notable principals were Professor J.H. Kelly and Professor Robert Johnson, father of the civil rights leader Lyman Johnson.

College Hill School, Columbia, Tennessee, 1920

This portrait, taken in 1888 in Columbia, Tennessee, was discovered by Sandra Seaton during her research on the church.  The photo’s restoration was funded by a Kellogg Foundation Grant received by Sandra Seaton.

St. Paul A.M.E (African Methodist Episcopal) Church
Founded in 1830

Custom photo assistance provided by Custom Photographic, Lansing, Michigan