Stoutsburg  Sourland  African  American  Museum 

For several years now two annual events have been important sources of funding for our new museum. In the summer for the last two years the Sourland Conservancy and Stoutsburg Cemetery Association  have organized re-creations of an old time "Camp Meeting". During the winter season the same two organizations have put together a "Gospel Brunch" at a local church. Both have been very successful and helped raise money for our important cause. Find out more about them below.
The second annual “Gospel Brunch” took place on February 25, 2017 in Hopewell and by all accounts it was an overwhelming success. The food and music were superb.

The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum would like to thank everyone who came and all those who volunteered to “make it happen". 

A large crowd listened as Sourland Conservancy Director Caroline Katmann detailed the museum project and the most recent updates including grant funding. After enjoying the meal and some great conversation participants drifted upstairs for the musical portion of the event. The main sanctuary of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church was filled to capacity as the next part of the event began

The musical program started with a  stirring rendition of the hymn “We Shall Overcome” as everyone stood and joined in. The first performance was by the Trenton Children’s Chorus who entertained and enchanted the audience with some readings by the children and several songs. Their young voices filled the room with joyfulness while their faces reflected the serious determination each felt toward their performance.

The second featured performer of the day, Bertha Morgan, gave no indication of the performance she was about to give as she quietly stood before the audience. The stillness gave way as she shared her innermost beliefs about the power of song and the strength it gives to the human soul. For the next twenty minutes the audience listened intently to her powerful performance. From the softest strains to the loudest crescendos her voice was wrought with strong emotions, both sweet and powerful. By the end the entire crowd was on their feet waving arms while swaying back and forth to the melody. After her final song the calls for more enticed her to do one more song.  She encouraged the entire audience to stand and join in. It was a stirring encore. 

As the crowd exited the room the smiles and conversation suggested that everyone who came enjoyed themselves thoroughly. We all look forward to next years's event.
Events
Gospel Brunch  2017
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On a gorgeous Saturday in August supporters and friends gathered at Skillman Park just above Hopewell to enjoy good music, beautiful weather and friendship. The second annual “Camp Meeting” was organized by the Sourland Conservancy and Trustees of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association to raise funds for the Stoutsburg Sourland African Museum (SSAAM), now in the planning stages. 

The event featured musical performances by the renowned singer Bertha Morgan and the popular Capital City Gospel Singers. For those in attendance who were hungry tasty meals were available and for those looking for that special gift for themselves or friends the ever popular “Church Lady Aprons” were again available for purchase. The event organizers even had a special place for our younger guests to play while mom and dad enjoyed the day’s activities.

The Reverend Doctor Angela M. Battle from Pennington’s Bethel AME Church read an invocation to start the program and also to help establish the spiritual nature the music to follow. 

The first performer, Bertha Morgan from Christ Baptist Church in Burlington was a favorite of many in attendance. For the uninitiated her powerful voice quickly got their attention as her soft passages gave way to amazing periods of great energy.

The second performance came from the Capital City Gospel Singers who are widely known in and around Trenton. Their renditions of old favorites and more modern arrangements of gospel music enthralled everyone who came. 

All and all it was a wonderful day. The setting on soft grass beneath a small grove of tall shade trees could not have been better situated. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and most look forward to next year’s event. Many thanks go to the members of the Sourland Conservancy and everyone else who helped make the day a great success.  
Volunteers from the Sourland Conservancy greeted guests as they arrived.
There was plenty of good food for hungry attendees.
The ever popular "Church Ladies" aprons created by Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck were once again available.
The enthusiastic Reverend Edwin Lloyd was the master of ceremonies. He introduced the speakers and musicians and make sure the crowd was in good spirits.
The Executive Director of the Sourland Conservancy Caroline Katmann gave the audience information and updates on the progress of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum.
The musical program began with singer Bertha Morgan. Her amazing voice once again enthralled the audience.
Between songs Bertha shared some of her personal insights into life and her music.
For the final song SSAAM president John Buck, Advisory Board member Beverly Mills and treasurer Catherine Hogan joined Bertha Morgan on stage.
Lots of big hats helped set the camp meeting mood.
The large Capital City Gospel Singers group picked up the pace of the musical program.
Lots of musical talent in this group. The crowd seemed to enjoy their performance
The weather on the day of the event was excellent and the setting on the soft grass under a grove of tall shade trees could not have been better situated.
Camp Meeting 2017
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What was a Camp Meeting?  
find out here....
Hungary participants marveled at the wide variety of food offered at this year's Gospel Brunch.
The Trustees of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum wish to thank everyone for attending and the Sourland Conservancy especially for their efforts in making this fundraising event a great success.
After a hardy meal everyone wandered upstairs to the main sanctuary for the musical part of the day. By the time it began the room was filled to capacity.
Caroline Katmann, Executive Director of the Sourland Conservancy welcomed everyone and spoke about plans for the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum on Hollow Road
Master of Ceremonies Reverend Edwin Lloyd, who is a SSAAM  trustee, introduced the  performers and speakers during the afternoon's musical program.
The musical part of the program began with Museum President, John Buck thanking everyone for coming and for all the volunteers who helped make the day possible.
SSAAM Advisory Board members Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck share with the audience another important part of the fund raising effort. Their colorful and popular “Church Lady Aprons” help raise money while brightening up the cooking process.
The angelic voices of the Trenton Children’s Chorus filled the air with joyous music.
Another interesting part of the show was this young lady performing a dramatic “passion play” accompanied by recorded music
The beautiful stained glass window at the Hopewell Presbyterian Church created a colorful backdrop for this performance
The final performer for the event was singer Bertha Morgan from the Christ Baptist Church in Burlington, NJ.
By the end of Bertha's performance every member of the audience was on their feet joining in.