Former schoolteacher hosts signing for book of church history

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comMay 23, 2014 

Willie Marie Porter said earlier this week that she always wanted to be a writer.

Now, the 92-year-old former teacher will host a book signing from noon to 2 p.m. today in the Operation Men Community Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Lumpkin, Ga., for her book, "A Grateful People: The Founding of a Community."

"It took me 13 years to get it done," she said of the non-fiction book that tells the history of the founding of the Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Lumpkin, Ga.

The book describes the impact the church had on the Green Grove community.

The church was founded in 1886 by former slaves Perry Hudson, Louis Cherry and Isaac Shorter. It served double duty as a school for blacks and a church from 1886-1937.

Porter said the church is still active.

She said she taught for about 40 years, some of that time in Stewart and Harris counties.

"I did interviews for the book and also did research," she said.

Her son, Houston Porter, who assisted her with the book, said she found some of the information in a 1919 newspaper article.

The book, he said, chronicles the migration of blacks from the area to the North during World War I.

"I think people will find the history interesting," he said. "I can't think of anything else that has been done on this subject."

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