Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery
Founded in 1882 on land purchased from Elizabeth Talmadge, the Gospel Pilgrim Lodge Cemetery became the burial ground of many Athenians of African descent. A high percentage of black Athenians were members of lodges organized around insurance and burial insurance programs. The "Gospel Pilgrim Lodge" was the beginning of the insurance program, where members paid weekly and were guaranteed a large funeral well attended. The Gospel Pilgrim Preservation Society maintained the cemetery until its last surviving member, Alfred Hill, died in the mid-1970s. Having weathered a period of neglect over the next decade, the cemetery became the focus of a multi-phase restoration plan prepared and implemented by the Gospel Pilgrim Preservation Society, Inc., when it reorganized in 1986.