October 27, 2021

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 kadesh@ehcnc.org to learn more about how you can help save the Kadesh A. M. E. Zion Church.