Bethesda community rallies to save African-American burial ground

On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African-American burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African-American burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African-American burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African-American burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

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On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
On Sunday, community members rallied at Macedonia Baptist Church on River Road in a show of support to save the site of an African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON — The battle over saving the site of an African-American burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland, continues as supporters rallied at a church across the street from the cemetery on Sunday.

“This is really a protest demonstration,” says Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, with the Macedonia Baptist Church.

The church on River Road was once part of a thriving community of freed slaves.

The rally is the latest event in an ongoing effort to stop a parking garage from being built over the burial site. Coleman-Adebayo said that in the 1950s, 90 percent of the cemetery had been turned into a parking lot.

“The county is definitely shutting us down,” said Coleman-Adebayo.

She said the rally was about sending a message to Montgomery County policy makers that church members and the community don’t want the burial site to be desecrated again.

In a statement, land owners of the area where the cemetery once stood say they have no plan to develop the property.


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