ANNAPOLIS, Md. — "We now know that all of his neighbors were our ancestors"
Janice Hayes-Williams is talking about Smith Price. Price founded the first African-American church in Anne Arundel County in 1803, the church Asbury United Methodist Church. His bones were discovered behind the church and then sat on a shelf for more than 30 years.
The remains were studied and determined to be those of price decades later. This new re-evaluation gave an opportunity to relate the history of this great Annapolitan.
Hayes-Williams started this project and last year the remains were buried in Annapolis in the St. Anne's Cemetery. A group of men escorted the remains to the grave site, they called themselves "The Posse". Tony Spencer was part of the posse last year.
"You felt like you were with a family who had just died because they were having this service for him and it brought his memory back."
Maryland abolished slavery on November 1, 1864. To honor that day and Price, "The Posse" will get back together to march a wreath from the church he founded to a few blocks away where he was laid to rest.
Vincent Leggett, one of the original posse members and Hayes-Williams came to the grave site on Friday. Price was buried with his son, Reverend Henry Price.
This posse that is honoring Smith-Price is made up of young and old members of the community and that's by design.