Powerful and emotional church service in a Springfield community

St. John's Church which traces its roots back to the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A powerful and emotional church service in Springfield’s Mason Square community.

“Never again my children. Never no more.”

It was an Ashes to Ashes service at St. John’s Congregational Church to remember and memorialize African Americans who were lynched or terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan.

People came from out of state to show their respect for the thousands of lives that were taken simply for demanding equal rights.

To honor those souls, they held a mock funeral procession with a hearse and casket.

Parishioners were each given a name of a victim and asked to say a prayer and speak the name aloud.

Ronn Johnson, Parishioner, St. John’s said, “It’s a living memorial for those more than 4,000 individuals who have not been documented who were either lynched or terrorized on some way and their lives and legacies were never appropriately documented.”

The ceremony was appropriately held at St. John’s Church which traces its roots back to the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad, helping many blacks escape to freedom.

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