History at High Noon: Across the Field: Inspirational Images of Warren Grove Missionary Baptist Church (HYBRID)

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024, 12:00 - 1:00pm

Please join us in the Longleaf Classroom at the North Carolina Museum of History OR via Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted the day of the program and sent out to all registrants.

Speakers: Susan Birckhead, author; Patricia F. White, lifelong member of Warren Grove Missionary Baptist Church; Sam Harding, photography, editing, and tech support

Join the NC Museum of History as we honor Black History Month by welcoming author Susan Birckhead and collaborators Patricia White and Sam Harding, who come together to bring a photographic diary of dramatic and inspirational images that will visually speak to guests in a personal, spiritual, or soulful way through Warren Grove Missionary Baptist Church. The historic African American house of worship and the site of the first Rosenwald School for African American children in North Carolina has offered Susan and her family glorious sunrises, moody sunsets, changing seasons, and stunning weather events.

Stick around after the end of the talk to get your copy of Across the Field signed by our speakers! The book will be available for purchase in our Museum Shop. For more information about this program, please contact Stacey Smith at 919-814-7032.

Author and artist Susan Birckhead has lived in rural northeastern North Carolina for her entire adult life. Her passion for the visual arts charted a professional course that spans decades. Birckhead taught art grades K–12 in public schools and later art lessons in an afterschool setting. She has served in various leadership roles and capacities in the community with a focus on advocacy for the disabled population. Birckhead also serves as a board member of the Chowan Arts Council in Edenton. Currently she enjoys a creative life as a full-time professional artist and amateur photographer of the natural world. Her work can be found in numerous homes and settings throughout the country. Birckhead enjoys rural life in Chowan County with her husband Thomas and their adult daughter Ashlee, who happens to have Down syndrome. Across the field from their home sits Warren Grove Missionary Baptist Church, the inspiration for her book.

Collaborator Patricia F. White is a native of Edenton. She has been a member of Warren Grove Missionary Baptist Church for nearly 60 years. As a faithful life-long servant of her church, White has served as a trustee, choir member, and choir organist and in numerous other leadership roles. Currently she serves as the church administrator. White taught high school family and life science for 35 years in the Edenton-Chowan Public Schools system. As a retired teacher, White continues to serve in various capacities throughout the community. White’s invaluable contributions to the book included the church’s history, records, photographs, and endless meetings. She is a woman of immeasurable stature and deeply respected by the community.

Collaborator Sam Harding is a junior at Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies. He is one of Birckhead’s former students. Harding developed a love of art in its many forms, later expressing himself through the art of photography. He has honed his photographic and digital editing skills by drawing on his passion for trains and landscapes as his favorite subjects. He was invited by Birckhead to collaborate on the book as the photography and graphics editor due to his talent and keen eye. Harding resides in Edenton with his parents Flint and Cynthia Harding and their beloved chocolate lab, Penny.