What Happened at Warren Temple?

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Warren Temple Methodist Church in LaGrange, Georgia, was organized in late 1865 or early 1866.  The current structure was built about 1934.  It was in this building in the fall of 1940 that Reverend L.W. Strickland and other pastors and leaders of the African American community in LaGrange met to organize the first chapter of the NAACP in Troup County.  This action came shortly after the lynching of Austin Callaway in LaGrange on September 7.  Local authorities had failed to investigate the brutal death or hold anyone accountable.  Strickland and others helped mobilize the community in response.  Seeking answers that never came, Strickland wrote Thurgood Marshall in late October, noting “They have settled the matter by ignoring it.”  The local NAACP never got answers about the lynching, but it remained active, working on issues like voting rights, housing, public services, health, and education.  The chapter remains active today.

Reverend L.W. Strickland, who preached a message “of understanding, righteousness, fair dealing, and brotherly love,” served as a pastor in Methodist churches in Georgia for 52 years, including Warren Temple from 1938 to 1944.  He died in Atlanta in 1972.

On March 18, 2017, Warren Temple, Troup Together, the Troup NAACP, the Equal Justice Initiative and members of the family of Austin Callaway will erect a permanent historical marker at Warren Temple lamenting Callaway’s lynching and recognizing Warren Temple’s role in responding to it.

The Church remains an active part of the community.  Rev. Vincent Dominique is the pastor.

2 thoughts on “What Happened at Warren Temple?

  1. We believe he was buried at Southview Cemetery in LaGrange, though his grave there is not marked. We will hold a remembrance service there on Sunday, March 18. We will call Austin’s name and the names of all known lynching victims in Georgia.

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