Restoration Road with Clint Harp on Discovery+ takes a trip into the rich history of First African Baptist Church in Dublin, Georgia.
September 13th, 2021 Dublin, Georgia
Craftsman Clint Harp, star of Magnolia Network’s newest show Restoration Road With Clint Harp, set out traveling the country in search of old barns to bring back to life and the stories of the people that are intertwined. One of these repurposing projects included relocating a barn from Ohio to Laurens County for a local Dublin, Georgia family. During Harp’s time in Dublin, he discovered Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Park at the gateway to downtown Dublin and was astounded, after reading the gateway wall, that Dublin, Georgia was “Where the dream began”. Harp was so inspired after learning of Martin Luther King’s very first speech, he wished to include the story on Restoration Road, Season 1.
During his visit in Dublin, Harp sat down during filming to speak with Mayor Julie Driger who, in 1963 and 1964, worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as his secretary during the Civil Rights Movement in St. Augustine, Florida, helping coordinate the Civil Rights efforts there. “I’m thrilled that Clint Harp walked up on, literally, the history of Dr. King’s first speech given right here in Dublin, and I am especially thrilled he is eager to help us share this wonderful story with the world, through his show” said Mayor Julie Driger.
On April 17, 1944 Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his first public speech at historic First African Baptist Church in Dublin, Georgia, a fact that became known in 2010 thanks to the research of Scott Thompson. When that rich history was discovered within the doors of First African Baptist Church, Visit Dublin Georgia, Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Tourism Division, Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the City of Dublin, local historian Scott Thompson and the MLK Monument Park Committee worked together to build Dublin’s MLK Monument Park and share the story with the world.
Corey Barksdale, nationally recognized Atlanta artist, was commissioned to design and craft the sculpture that stands at the center of MLK Monument Park.
On the grounds of First African Baptist Church stands a sculpture designed by Dublin artist, Juan Lleras. Fully funded through corporate donations and a tourism product development grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Tourism Division, the initiative funded the sculpture, new lighting, landscaping, and ADA accessible walkway at First African Baptist Church.
In 2018, the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division awarded a development grant to Dublin Downtown Development Authority for the renovation of the Telfair Street building adjoining MLK Monument Park. The Dublin Downtown Development Authority, in partnership with Visit Dublin GA, completed the renovation of the building with the assistance of local contractors, the City of Dublin’s Engineering and Public Works departments.
Comprised of representatives from the City of Dublin, First African Baptist Church, Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin Downtown Development Authority, and Visit Dublin GA, the MLK Monument Committee worked to garner support for and recognition of First African Baptist Church on the National Register Of Historic Places. On August 16th, 2019 First African Baptist Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Restoration Road With Clint Harp is a Magnolia Network production originally aired on Discovery+.
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Miriam Ponton Lewis
Visit Dublin GA