The Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society Newsletter
P. O. Box 6, Sapelo Island, GA 31327
Karen Grovner, Editor
Dr. Benjamin F. Lewis Asst. Editor
Spring 2002
Volume 3 Issue 2

Executive Director’s Message
As the flowers bloom SICARS is also blossoming with new members, renewed interest in our mission and renewed commitment to our goals. We are continuing to offer services to the Hog Hummock Community such as fax, notary and copying services. We were indeed delighted to furnish programs for First African Baptist Church’s Pastor’s and Church’s Anniversaries. We were also very pleased to print copies of the Mother’s Day Programs for St. Luke Baptist Church. We are here to serve the community.

We are in the process of establishing a corp. of volunteers. Persons who reside on and off of Sapelo Island can serve as volunteers. We solicit the aid of all who are interested in volunteer time. If you are willing to serve as a volunteer, please email us at, mail a not to us at P. O. 6, Sapelo Island, GA or call us at (912) 485-2197. Motivations+commitment+persistence+working together=SUCCESS. We must working together=SUCCESS. We must not be defeated. Our ancestors endured the hardships of slavery to allow us to have and enjoy this beautiful pristine island.

Dr. Carolyn Dowse


SICARS Membership Drive
This past February marked SICARS’s first ever National Membership Drive. The membership committee sent a total of over 600 membership packets to Area Chairpersons in Brunswick, Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia. Packets were also sent to Area Chairs for descendants in Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Massachusetts, the Great Lakes area, the Mid West, and Hawaii! Many thanks to the following SICARS members who served as area chairpersons: Betty Johnson Cooper, Gwendolyn Johnson Spence, Andrea Dixon, Eldora Cabral, Mary Lewis Overton, Karen Grovner, Gracie Lewis Chandler, Carolyn Lewis Dowse, Sharon Banks, and Ronald Johnson. We’re expecting a bountiful harvest from their efforts.


Gracie L. Chandler,
Membership Chairperson

*Anyone wishing to submit announcements and/or articles for the GRIOT may submit them to SICARS multipurpose center or email at the above address.


SICARS Board of Directors’ Retreat
SICARS Board of Directors recently held its first annual weekend Board of Directors retreat at Penn Center. Persons in attendance were Executive Director Carolyn Dowse, President Ronald Johnson, Vice-President Andrea Dixon, Secretary Karen Grovner, membership chairperson, Gracie L. Chandler and Board members Sarah F. Deloach and Larry Johnson. The weekend agenda included Policies Workshop sessions, a tour of St. Helena Island and a time for camaraderie during meal times in the dining hall. The tours consisted of visits to the Indigo house, sights of the prayer houses remaining on the island, a visit to the oldest church; culminating with a visit to a novelty gift shop. Board members were afforded an opportunity to view first hand some St. Helena projects similar to projects included in SICARS land use plan.


SICARS Spring Jazz & Food Festival
SICARS fourth annual Spring Jazz & Food Festival was held on March 30, 2002. The balmy weather condition was very conducive for the Spring Festival setting. Several attendees commented on their written evaluations.,"The music and the setting under the oaks overlooking the marsh with enough good breeze to deter the bugs was marvelous".

Seen among the crowd were young, middle aged, elderly, boys, girls, men and women. Throughout the day approximately 1,000 persons paraded through the vendor bedecked driveway and the grounds of the Sapelo Island visitor’s Center, Meridian, GA. Many came in the morning, ate, shopped and relaxed all day. Many came throughout the day. All enjoyed the food; vendors’ merchandise and live jazz performance of the Phil Morrison Trio featuring Keith Williams, Teddy Adams and local artist L. C. Quarterman. Drawings for prizes took place at 3 p.m. and continued throughout the afternoon. The event seemed to have been enjoyed by all who attended. Thanks to all who came out and supported this great event.

SICARS New E-mail Address
SICARS has a new e-mail address. Our new e-mail address is

SICARS Advisory Task Force Organized
SICARS Advisory Task Force was officially organized on Saturday, February 16, 2002 at SICARS Multi-Purpose Center on Sapelo Island, GA. Cornelia Bailey, a Sapelo Island native and full time Hog Hummock Community resident and James O. Thomas, a former McIntosh County resident and present resident of Washington, D. C. were appointed to co-chair the Advisory Task Force. LaShaundra Bailey, Hog Hummock Community youth was elected as secretary, Rev. B. T. Smith, pastor of the historic First African Baptist Church, Sapelo Island, was elected as the chaplain and Cornelia Bailey was elected as historian.

The Advisory Task force will meet quarterly at the SICARS Multi-Purpose Center. The major goal of the Advisory Task Force is to provide support and assistance to SICARS. The members agreed to assist with fund raising, membership campaign, annual events and community service projects. In addition to the officers the other members of the Advisory Task force are Tracey Alexander, Shannon Anthony, Mary Bailey, Sharon Banks, William Banks Jr., Herbert Dixon, Betty Ector, Robert Gilbert, J. R. Grovner, Olympia Hamilton, Benjamin F. Lewis, John Littles, Rev. Griffin Lotson, Willie Mae Robinson, Rev. B. T. Smith, Gwendolyn Spence, Zanthia Sutton, Doretha Tyson, Lula Walker, Shakira Walker and George Williams. Also in attendance were Sherman Robertson, SICARS HUD technical advisor, Ronald Johnson, president and Carolyn L. Dowse, executive director.


SICARS Sponsors Proposal Writing Workshops
SICARS sponsored two HUD supported free grant-writing workshops at SICARS Multipurpose Center on Sapelo Island, Saturday, March 16, 2002 and St. John Baptist Church, Savannah, GA, Saturday, April 13, 2002. Sherman Roberson, president of 21st Century community and Economic Development Corporation, Inc., Columbia Maryland, conducted the workshops. Mr. Roberson wrote the HUD winning proposal grant for SICARS and serves SICARS as technical advisor. The topics for the two workshops included, but were not limited to: Identifying Funding Opportunities Using the Internet, Developing Persuasive Program/Project Needs Statements, developing Program/Project Goals and Objectives, Developing Winning Technical Proposals, Preparing Line Item Budgets and Justifications, Developing Winning Scientific Based Program/Project Evaluation Plans and Developing Timelines and Milestones for Programs/Projects. Forty-five persons attended the two workshops. The participants have requested a follow-up workshop.


June Beach Splash
SICARS Annual Beach Splash will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2002 at the beautiful pristine beach on Sapelo Island. In an effort to promote community pride and spirit, SICARS, under the leader of Hubert (Ren) Hillary, is organizing a volleyball competition. Children’s activities are also being planned. Mary Bailey will work with activities for the children. Donation for adult tickets is $16.00 and donation for children, ages 21-5 is $8.00. Ticket holders will be entitled to ferry transportation to and from Sapelo Island Dock, transportation to and from Sapelo Island Beach, 1 rib or chicken dinner and 1 drink. Food will also be available for sale on the site for other attendees. The ferry will depart from the Meridian Dock promptly at 10:15 a.m. and from the Sapelo Island Dock at 6:15 p.m. Persons who desire tickets are requested to send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: SICARS, P. O. Box 6, Sapelo Island, GA 31327. Checks for mail order tickets must be received in the SICARS office by June 17th. Request tickets immediately. A limited number of tickets are available. For further information relative to the Beach Splash you are requested to call or e-mail the SICARS office.


SICARS Prepares to Establish Media Center
SICARS is renovating the interior of the Hog Hummock Community Foundation building (old school building) for use as a Media Center. The first Hog Hummock Community library housed in the SICARS Multi-purpose Center very quickly outgrew the area in which it was housed. SICARS is extremely grateful to Molly McMillan and the students from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina who spent one week camping at Stanley Walker Campgrounds, moving books, bookshelves, painting the interior and a portion of the exterior of the Hog Hummock Community Building, arranging books on shelves, examining computers and printers to determine which ones could be used, hanging valances to the windows, etc. Additional renovation is being completed by Jerome Dixon.

The Georgia Librarians’ Association, under the leadership of Susan Robertson, has agreed to render assistance with the library project. Jim Darby, regional library director, is also assisting SICARS with setting up and maintaining a professional library. Librarians throughout the state are pledging donated time to come to Sapelo Island and assist us with this project.

SICARS is soliciting donations of computer for Media Center computer lab.

Hog Hummock Youths to be employed on Sapelo Island
Through the initiative of SICARS Job Training Unlimited on Sapelo Island will employ four Hog Hummock youths. Two youths will be employed in the SICARS office, one at the Reynolds Mansion and one at the DNR office. The youths will be able to work 20 hours during the summer. This program is a year round program. Therefore, youths can also be employed during the school term. The maximum number of work hours during the school term is 10. The SICARS office is the facility for intake and other business relative to this program.



Farmer’s Alliance Hall Restoration
The projected completion date for the predevelopment analysis and the study of the Farmer’s Alliance Hall project is July 1, 2002. Sources of funding for the predevelopment phase of this project were $8,100 grant award from the Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Natural Resources and $5,400 grant award from the Friends of coastal Georgia History. Upon the completion of the predevelopment phase of the project funds will be sought for the second phase, the actual restoration of the building. Upon completion of the restoration the Hall will serve as an archival storage unit and museum, a place for community gathering/meetings, fundraisers and cultural events. The contract for the consulting firm was awarded to Prescon Consulting Firm.

SICARS’ Attorney Receives Award
SICARS congratulates Attorney Skipper StipMass, the recent recipient of the 2001 Newton Florist Club Partnership Award and the Alec Little Environmental Award. The Newton Florist Club (NFC) serves a predominately African-American Community in Gainesville, GA, by fighting for environmental justice. Attorney StipMass serves as legal counsel to the NFC as the organization develops a community land trust and acquires funding for housing rehabilitation and other community capacity building ventures. The Athens Land Trust was named winner of the 2002 Alec Little Award, along with three of the land trust’s longtime members. Attorney StipMass, Nancy Stangle and Laura Hall Gabriel. All three winners received plaques. Stangle and StipMass founded the Athens Land Trust in 1994. Since the organization’s inception they have preserved about 100 acres of Land through conservation easements.


First African Baptist
The First African Baptist Church of Sapelo Island held their 136th church anniversary on May 2-5, 2002. On Thursday nigh, May 5th Rev. Alfred Jackson, pastor of the Fishers of Men Harvest Church of Brunswick, GA, delivered an inspirational message. Services continued on Friday night, with the sermon being rendered by Rev. Ronnie Leggett of the St. Luke Baptist Church of Sapelo Island, Ga. On Sunday morning the guest church was the First African Baptist Church of St. Simons Island, GA with Rev. Leroy Williams, who was in charge of the services. Rev. Gerald Thomas and the congregation of Elm Grove Baptist, Meridian, GA concluded the services on Sunday afternoon, May 5th. Also in attendance for the evening service was the Rev. T. L. Benton and congregation of the First United Christians Baptist Church of Brunswick, Ga. All had a glorious time. Thanks to all visitors and friends who took the time out to share in this special occasion.

Rev. B. T. Smith, Pastor

St. Luke Baptist
The St. Luke Baptist Church, of Sapelo Island, GA, will conduct their church anniversary celebration on June 6, 2002 – June 9, 2002. The initial anniversary service will be conducted by Rev. Garfield Jackson and the First African Baptist Church of Meridian, GA. The ferry will depart from the Meridian dock at 5:30 p.m. on June 6th and will depart from the Sapelo Island Dock at 10 p.m. On Friday night, June 7th Rev. B. T. Smith and the First African Baptist Church of Sapelo Island will be in charge of the services. The June 9th Sunday services will begin with Sunday School at 10 a.m. followed by morning worship services at 11 a.m. with the First African Baptist Church of Harris Neck in charge of the services. The anniversary sermon will be delivered by Rev. Edgar Timmons, Jr., pastor of First African Baptist Church of Harris Neck. The communion services will be held at 3:30 p.m. The Emmanuel

Baptist Church of St. Simons Island, GA will be in charge of the communion services. The communion sermon will be delivered by Rev. Robert Leggett, Sr., pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church. The public is cordially invited to attend these services. There will be an afternoon ferry departure from Sapelo Island following the 3:30 p.m. service.

Rev. Ronnie Leggett, Pastor



The First African Baptist Church, Raccoon Bluff of Sapelo Island will celebrate their second Annual Homecoming for all Sapelo Island Descendant on Sunday, August 26, 2002, at raccoon Bluff. The guest speaker will be Rev. J. D. Shaw of Augusta, GA. This event will consist of a spiritual worship services beginning at 10:30 a.m. followed by a picnic under the tents on the grounds adjacent to the church. The ferry will depart Meridian, GA at 9 a.m. and depart Sapelo Island at 4 p.m. We are asking all Sapelo Island descendants to make a special effort to attend these services. The public is cordially invited.

Sis. Annette Mitchell, Chairperson
Sis. Karen Grovner, Co-Chairperson




June 29, 2002
Beach Pavilion
Sapelo Island, GA



Cultural Day 2002
October 19, 2002
Farmers Alliance Hall
Hog Hummock Community
Sapelo Island, GA


SEGS Event
November 23, 2002
Senior Citizens Building
Hog Hummock Community
Sapelo Island, GA


A limited number of tickets will be available for each event on Sapelo Island
For more information please call
(912) 485-2197