On Friday, February 25, 2022, Mr. Michael Strickland, a licensed stained glass specialist, joined Mr. Don Faircloth of the Edenton Construction Company and Mr. Willie Drew of the Kadesh AME Zion Church in inspecting the historic stained glass windows of the Church that had been in storage since the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. Mr. Strickland is optimistic that the windows can be restored to their rightful place in the Church.
On Friday, February 18, 2022, members of the Kadesh AME Zion Church, the Kadesh Restoration Committee, and the Edenton Historical Commission gathered in front of the historic Kadesh Church to receive a symbolic check representing the $2 million grant that the Restoration Project has received from the State of North Carolina. Representative Ed Goodwin presented the check on behalf of the State.
Check out the link to read the news coverage of the Project’s grant from the State of North Carolina: https://www.dailyadvance.com/chowan/news/local/kadesh-church-on-the-road-to-restoration/article_618bf1d5-e66c-53f5-821f-99b7deebf7b9.html
Today, the Kadesh Restoration Committee, along with Representative Ed Goodwin, shared with the Kadesh AME Zion Church congregation that the State of NC is granting $2M to the Edenton Historical Commission for the restoration of their church!
The below information and images were shared by Commissioner Samuel Bobbitt Dixon:
“Today was a great day in Edenton. The historic Kadesh Church will be restored and the congregation will be able to return to their spiritual home. Thank you Rep Ed Goodwin for securing 2 Million dollars in funding. The people of Edenton came together to help make sure this project was successful. Thank you also to the Kadesh Restoration Committee. Today proves that with hard-work, kindness and love of a community that dreams do come true!”
While this grant provides tremendous assistance to the Restoration Project, it does not cover all of the costs. We still need your assistance to restore this glorious symbol back to its place of pride in our community!
Last week we had the honor of viewing the interior of the Kadesh A. M. E. Zion Church. Pictured is the section of the Church where the pipe organ was located. The second image is a view of the same organ and choir area before Hurricane Isabel created so much devastation that the interior of the structure became unsafe. Standing in this sacred space was a powerful moment, especially knowing that Evalina Badham, whose life we celebrated at our 247th Edenton Tea Party Anniversary “Women of Distinction” event, sat in this exact location over 100 years ago to play the organ and lift her community’s voices in praise. From Edenton’s “Fisherman and Farmer” newspaper, we know that Evalina was followed in her role as organist by her daughter, Sadie Badham Hawkins, and by many other inspiring women from the Kadesh congregation.
This profound space is not only what some Kadesh members have expressed to be their true home, but it also stands as the most fundamental symbol of the success of Edenton’s community of freedmen. These individuals who were born into slavery built the Church as their oasis of rest and refuge on the road to the Promised Land, and we look forward to the day when the bell can be heard throughout town once more.
Please contact the Edenton Historical Commission at 252-482-7800 or at [email protected] to learn more about how you can help save the Kadesh A. M. E. Zion Church.
On October 22, 2021, the Kadesh Restoration Project welcomed Mr. Earl Ijames, Curator at the North Carolina Museum of History, to the Kadesh sanctuary. Mr. Ijames gave a presentation on the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands at the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse earlier in the day, and then proceeded to the Kadesh AME Zion Church to discuss the history and legacy of Edenton’s community of Freedmen and -women. Also present at the event were some descendants of Hannibal Badham, Sr., who is credited with constructing the historic Kadesh Church.
We are so grateful to NC Humanities for awarding the Edenton Historical Commission a grant for the Kadesh Restoration Project! This grant will support the general operations of the Project.
The restoration work is ramping up! We just received a major grant from the Sacred Spaces fund and other meaningful donations! We are so grateful for every dollar donated for this project, and we look forward to the day when the congregation can come back home.
The long-awaited restoration of the Kadesh A.M.E. Zion Church in Edenton, NC has begun, with a leap of faith that community support will see it through. If you would like to contribute to this project, call 252-482-7800 or send contributions to: Kadesh Church Restoration, c/o Edenton Historical Commission, 505 South Broad Street, Edenton, NC 27932. If you know of any organizations or potential major donors with whom we could collaborate, please get in touch!
Images are of the exterior and interior of the Kadesh AME Zion Church from the 1990’s.
The work has begun at Kadesh AME Zion church on East Gale Street in Edenton! Siding removal started at 8 a.m. on February 8, 2021. If you would like to contribute to this project, give us a call at 252-482-7800.