Also known as the Lithonia Colored School, the Bruce Street School was opened in 1938 as the first public school for Black children in Lithonia. It was built as a community effort, with granite from local quarries. These ruins are presently the subject of community input for future use.
This colorful mural was apparently a source of controversy because it didn’t get the proper permits. Apparently, it has been completed. It was designed by Steve Paul, founder of the Lithonia Arts Center, and much of the work was by members of the community. I won’t get into local politics, but I think the community should embrace it.
Lithonia First United Methodist Church was established on 14 October 1860 as Lithonia Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with the Reverend Newdaygate B. Ousley serving as first pastor. As with so many Georgia churches, Lithonia UMC began services in a brush arbor and then built a one-room meeting house for services. In 1911, the present structure was dedicated and has served the congregation ever since. It was designed by local born architect John Parks Almand and used local Lithonia granite in its design. Almand left Georgia soon after he designed this church and began his practice in Little Rock, Arkansas. [Interestingly, this church does not appear on most lists of Almand’s work. I don’t know the reason for this oversight.]
Lithonia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places & Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Established by a group of Freedmen in 1869, Antioch-Lithonia Missionary Baptist Church [known originally as Antioch Baptist Church] is thought to be the oldest African-American congregation in Lithonia and DeKalb County. The church first met in a brush arbor and built their first permanent structure circa 1871. It was replaced by this structure, clad in local stone, in 1911, and served the congregation until 2004, when a larger facility was built at another location.