The stars shine brighter in Halifax County, VA

Meadville Community Center

Meadville Community Center

The Mead Community Center is the realization of a
dream of Caleb Robinson, who imagined an African American gathering place to
enhance and educate the community. Professor Robinson was born in Jamaica in
1864 and graduated from Virginia Union University in Richmond. In 1893 he
formed the McKinley Institute on land he purchased in the Meadville section of
Halifax County. He imported Northern teachers to train African American girls
in reading, writing, and industrial arts at the school. On his deathbed,
Professor Robinson gave the land to the school’s executive board. He had
expressed to them his dream of an African American gathering place to enhance
and educate the community, but at the time, the community was relatively impoverished,
and his idea lay dormant for a quarter of a century.

Then, in 1975, three African American Baptist organizations
(all of them members in the larger Banister, Staunton, and Sunnyside Baptist
Association) joined with local leaders to charter the Meadville Community
Center. Through determined community efforts, the present-day center was
financed, built, and finally dedicated on October 10, 1978. Dr. Martin Luther
King Sr. was the guest speaker at that occasion. The building left the Banister
Baptist Association in debt by more than $90,000, but through sales and
raffles, personal gifts, church assessments, and schoolchildren’s pennies, the
debt was paid in full, and the mortgage burned, in 1991.

Today, the center, which seats 400–500 people, is a
significant educational and community focal point, enriching the lives of
residents of Halifax County and surrounding counties.

Contact Information

7114 Chatham Road, Nathalie, VA 24577