About Us

Research is Respect
Marking Graves, Maintaining Cemeteries, and Telling the Stories of Legends

Make a Donation today
Support Our Important Work

Mount Zion Missionary Baptist
(MB) Church (f. 1911)
The Mt. Zion Memorial Fund (MZMF) was named after Mount Zion Missionary Baptist (MB) Church (f. 1911) outside Morgan City, Mississippi. Organized in 1989 by Raymond ‘Skip’ Henderson, the Fund memorialized the contributions of numerous musicians interred in rural cemeteries without grave markers, serving as a conduit to provide financial support to black church communities and cemeteries in the Mississippi Delta. The MZMF erected twelve memorials to blues musicians over a 12 year period from 1990 to 2001

Deacon Booker T. Young and 
MZMF secretary DeWayne Moore in front 
of the present day Mt. Zion M.B. Church.
The renewed efforts of the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund from 2010 to 2020 were spearheaded by T. DeWayne Moore, a public historian and professor at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. The descendants of 1920s blues artist Tommy Johnson and other internments at Warm Springs CME Church Cemetery obtained a permanent fifteen foot wide and half-a-mile long easement to the important site due in large part to research efforts and legal wrangling of Moore, who took over as executive director in January 2014.  Under his leadership, the military markers of Henry "Son" Simms and Jackie Brenston were located and restored. The MZMF has dedicated seven new memorials--the headstone of Frank Stokes in the abandoned Hollywood Cemetery, Memphis, TN; the flat companion stone of Ernest "Lil' Son Joe" Lawlars in Walls, MS; and in Greenville, MS, the flat markers of T-Model Ford and Eddie Cusic, and the unique, yet humble, headstone of Mamie "Galore" Davis.  On July 29, 2017, the MZMF dedicated the marker for Bo Carter.  On September 22, 2018, the headstone of Belton Sutherland was dedicated at St. John M.B. Church in Camden, Mississippi.  On March 9, 2019, the headstone of Charlie Burse was dedicated at Rose Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. In January 2020, the MZMF hired Arcola, MS-based artisan and stonemason Alan Orlicek to repaint and restore the headstone of Sonny Boy Williamson II in Tutwiler, MS.

The Board and the Braintrust

Columbus, MS

Prairie View, TX

Duncan, MS
Great Granddaughter of Charley Patton

Skip Henderson, New Orleans, LA
Founder and Board Chairman

2021 Board of Associates

Robert Birdsong - Clarksdale, MS
Indiana Jones of the Blues

Joe Austin - Canton, MS
Madison County, Mississippi Liaison - Belton Sutherland

T. J. Wheeler - Hampton Falls, NH

Blues In The Schools Lecturer

Jontavious Willis - Columbus, GA

MZMF liaison in the old Southeast

Clayton "Bones" Harvey - Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Bill Pichette - Memphis. TN

Investigator and Founder of the The Little Pitcher Project

Arlo Leach - Portland, OR

Software Developer, Scholar, and Musician

Gabriel Soria - Bakersfield, CA

CA affiliate and caretaker of Rubin Lacy's headstone
MZMF secretary DeWayne Moore and
treasurer Kechia Patton Brown

Tony Manard - Memphis, TN

Songwriter, Hellbilly, and Saint

Denise Tapp - Memphis, TN

Former Blues-L Zellar and Music Consultant

Justin Thomas Brown - Elm Grove, WI

Banker, Investigator, and Master of Subterfuge

Michael Duer, Tucson, AZ

Southwestern ballymunner, taphophile, and critic

Arne Brogger, Shorewood, MN

Promoter, mastermind, and music industry liaison

Augusta Palmer, Brooklyn, NY
Professor, filmmaker, and manager of The Blues Society

Carl Nichols, Milwaukee, WI
MZMF Minister of Culture

Prakash "Slim" Pokharel, Lalitpur, Nepal
MZMF affiliate, Musician, Educator, Researcher

No comments:

Post a Comment