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Upstate Forever is seeking a Land Policy Grassroots Specialist to join our Land Planning & Policy program staff. Applications for this role must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on March 31, 2023.
Perched atop a ridge looking toward fields, patches of forest, and the towering Blue Ridge Escarpment, Soapstone Baptist Church has been an anchor of Pickens County's Liberia community for more than 150 years. In 2022, the six-acre property home to this historic place of worship, education, and fellowship was permanently protected through a conservation easement.
After many months of work and partner involvement, we're happy to share that the conservation easement on the Soapstone Baptist Church property was finalized in September 2022. Read more
In her own words, sixth-generation steward and matriarch Mable Owens Clarke shares the story of her ancestors and history of the church. Read more
For her tireless and quiet dedication to secure the preservation of the historic, Mable Clarke received Upstate Forever’s 2022 Marjorie E. Schmidt Stewardship Award. This award recognizes those that have supported conservation efforts consistently and quietly without expectation of recognition or reward. Watch video
Find a comprehensive history, ways to get involved, a photo gallery, self-guided tour of the property, and more information at the church's website, soapstonechurch.com.
Anthropologist Dr. John M. Coggeshall chronicles the 150-year history of the community in Liberia, South Carolina: An African American Appalachian Community, published in 2018 by the University of North Carolina Press. Purchase a copy here