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Pastors dedicate tombstone to local educator

Baptist moderators, pastors, ministers and citizens of Halifax County and surrounding areas gathered Saturday afternoon to dedicate a tombstone at the gravesite of Professor Caleb Robinson. 

The Rev. Dr. B. B. Blackwell served as service moderator. 

Robinson was born in 1864 in Jamaica. In 1893, he graduated from Virginia Union University in Richmond. 

He would later purchase land in the Meadville section of Halifax County where he created, organized and constructed a school for African-American girls named McKinley Institute. 

It was Robinson’s lifelong dream to use that institute to educate generations for many years in the future. 

On his deathbed he expressed to the school executive board his desires for the use of the land that he purchased and gave permission to the executive board to use the land to continue to develop and enhance his dream forever.

 Following his death, the land lay dormant for a quarter of a century.  

After 62 years, Robinson received a headstone at his gravesite located on Meadville Road adjacent to Banister Hill CME Church. 

In 1980 three African-American Baptist organizations with local leaders formed an organization chartered as the Meadville Community Center. Today, the Meadville Community Center is located at 7114 Chatham Road, Nathalie. 

In 2004, a “Civil Rights Education Historical Marker” was erected on the Heritage Trail site, a place to remember this historical founder and others.