Pastor Lorenzo Laws and the members of Greater Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church proudly invites the community to join us at its 1st Annual Crane Creek Founders Heritage Festival on Saturday, May 28, 2016 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The festival will be held on the north end of Lipscomb Street and Prospect Avenue in South Melbourne. The one-day festival will showcase dance, arts and crafts, music of all types, informational booths, and vendors displaying their wares, including specialty foods. Children’s entertainment activities will also be provided. The festival is free to the public.
The vision of the festival was conceived by Pastor Laws based on the following historical facts. Shortly after the civil war, (1868-1874), three Black freedmen: Wright Brothers, Peter Wright and Balaam Allen settled in Florida along the banks of the river that is now known as Crane Creek. Each of these men received property on the north and south sides of Crane Creek. According to the 1880 census of Brevard County there were just five Black men who were heads of families which included Brothers, Wright and Allen.
In 1884, in a tiny house on the southern banks of Crane Creek, Wright and Mary Brothers, Robert and Carrie Lipscomb, and Balaam and Salina Allen met for the purpose of organizing a place of worship for themselves and others of the Black community. In 1885, the first church structure for Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church was built on the northern end of what is now Lipscomb Street. This was Melbourne’s first house of worship. According to the Florida Star, the founders of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, now known as Greater Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, Balaam Allen passed away in 1893, Wright Brothers passed away in 1910, and Peter Wright in 1925. Greater Allen Chapel celebrated 131 years of service to the community in February.
Given the history of Crane Creek, now known as Melbourne, Greater Allen Chapel is hosting the festival to increase awareness of African American culture and history, the role it played in the development of the city of Melbourne and to provide future community enrichment activities. The ultimate goal for this event is to provide a sense of pride for the aggregate Melbourne community.
To ensure the success and the continuity of the festival, the Crane Creek Founders Heritage Festival Committee is accepting vendor applications, sponsorships and In-Kind contributions from community supporters.
You may also contact the church at (321)724-1557 or visit the festival website at CraneCreekFHS.org.
Honorary chairmen for this venue are Mr. Valene Croskey, Jr., Mr. Charles Jackson, Sr. and Mr. Leon Tucker Sr.