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Royal Visit from Africa to Hartford, Conn.

Timbo Elder Delegation to Hartford, CT Center Church
The Timbo Elder delegation with The Hon. Arunan Arulampalam, Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut and The Hon. Dan Gibson, Mayor of Natchez, Mississippi

On Monday, May 13, 2024 The First Church of Christ in Hartford / aka Center Church and its History Team led the efforts to host a delegation of Timbo Elders. Princess Karen Chatman, Dr. Artemus Gaye, and the High Council of Timbo Elders from Guinea, West Africa retraced the steps of their ancestor, Prince Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Ibn Sori. The group visited Center Church for tours and a program, followed by a visit to Trinity College, hosted by the Social Justice Institute. On Tuesday, the delegation visited the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, founded by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.

Click here for the program for the Center Church visit, with full names and titles of everyone who made comments.

History: Prince Abdul Rahman was captured in Africa in 1788, sent to the United States and sold as a slave to a plantation  owner in Natchez, Mississippi. He was enslaved for forty years before earning his freedom in 1828 following  significant political intervention. Although the Prince and his wife were freed, their children remained enslaved. Upon learning about the Prince and his family, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was compelled to assist through his involvement with Center Church and the American Colonization Society. Terry Alford authored a book about the story, Prince Among Slaves. A film was also produced, learn more here >>

The Center Church History Team is co-chaired by Andre Keitt, Church Member and Educator, and Christine Jewell, Coordinator of The 1636 Heritage Partnership (1636 HP). The History Team also includes clergy and members of Center Church: Dr. Eric Hearst, Coordinator of Justice and Faith Formation Ministries; Larry Reoming, Moderator, Center Church; Robin Roy, Center Church Librarian; and Members / Volunteers Stacia Parkes and Bill Prouty.


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