STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — The Rev. Abraham Mosley said he’s been shepherding his flock at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Athens as a pastor since 1974.
But now, Gov. Brian Kemp has named him the first African American chair of the board of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the state authority that runs Stone Mountain Park.
“This is a historical moment, but we have a long way to go. And I’m willing to be there to guide us as much as we possibly can in leading us to so to speak to the promised land,” Mosely said.
He told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that he is prepared to shepherd the board through dealing with the park’s pervasive Confederate imagery.
Mosely said he expects it to be a more challenging process than many anticipate.
“There are mounting problems, but we got to handle them one at a time. I know they say well we been patient and I don’t want them to be like the man who prayed. Lord give me patience, but give it to me right now,” Mosely said.
“I know its historic, but I’ve known Rev. Mosley a long time. He’s been a family friend. He’s got a great life story,” Kemp said.
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Christopher Sanders was also sworn-in to the association.
“I want to be able to have an impartial hearing,” Sanders said.
“I think they’re great choices by this governor,” said state Rep. Billy Mitchell, who represents the district where the park sits.
Mitchell said while state law puts limits on how changes can be made at the park, he believes the board can and needs to make major changes now by removing Confederate street names, taking down Confederate flags and more.
“When people look at Stone Mountain and look at the carving in particular, some see it as heritage, and others see hate, and it hurts them. And we’re going to tell the whole story,” Mitchell said.
Association CEO Bill Stephens said a Monday board meeting will be big with the unveiling of proposed changes for consideration in the coming weeks that he sees as balancing the historical record.
“There are going to be several different ideas,” Stephens said.
Mitchell said the carving on the side of Stone Mountain has strong protections under state law but said he introduced a bill that would, if passed, remove the Stone Mountain Memorial Association from maintaining the carving as a suitable memorial for the Confederacy and provide a process for governments to remove certain Confederate monuments.