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  • Writer's pictureDiocese of WNC

Good Shepherd to Celebrate Juneteenth

The Good Shepherd Episcopal Church cordially invites the community to Juneteenth Celebrations taking place the weekend of June 17–19, 2023.

Saturday, June 17th

Juneteenth Celebration: Free concert and reception featuring traditional Southern foods

Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC), 34 Melrose Place, Tryon, NC, free parking

3 p.m. musical presentations, stories, and two local gospel choirs

5 p.m. reception in the Pavilion of TFAC, free to the community

Sunday, June 18th

Worship Service:

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 814 Markham Road, Tryon, NC

10 a.m. Communion Service: We will gather outside the church at the Bell structure for the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Brunch with us in the Parrish Hall following services, as is our weekly tradition. Kindly leave a message at the Good Shepherd website if you are planning to join us.



Monday, June 19th

Official Federal Holiday commemorating Juneteenth

Bell Ringing: Please listen for the sound of the Good Shepherd bell in the Markham Road community, as it is rung to commemorate this joyful occasion.

A celebration that is old and almost forgotten has become new again. Under President Joe Biden’s signature, Juneteenth has become a national Holiday, now celebrated on June 19th, the day General Gordon Granger gave General Order No. 3. On this day the announcement was first heard in Galveston, Texas, delivered by Federal troops to farms, ranches, and plantations, enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation, which was already more than 2 years old, and 2 months after the civil war had ended. It informed slave owners in Texas, the last state to recognize the end of slavery, that their former property had now become their present-day employees and united the former slave states into a national order, in an effort to eliminate slavery throughout the country of the United States. The last enslaved people were finally freed under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution December 6, 1865.

In 2021, Juneteenth was the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983. Black communities and various states of the Union have traditionally celebrated this fact by an annual celebration of fellowship, Gospel singing and a shared feast. From 3-5 pm Saturday, June 17th, and at a free reception following, we will gather both to celebrate our freedom and to remember the ancestors who did not live to see this day.

We are grateful for a generous Free Community Event Grant by the Polk County Community Foundation to The Thermal Belt Friendship Council, in partnership with Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, making the Juneteenth Celebration at the Tryon Fine Arts Center possible. All in the community are invited to be part of this celebration with story, song, and great traditional Food. Please join us!

Blessings and Peace,

The Rev. Dr. Aloha L. Smith, Priest-in-Charge, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church


Donna Tatnall, President, Thermal Belt Friendship Council


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