City Council Highlights
Black History Month
As the City honors Black History Month, we wish to highlight several individuals who have contributed to our City, state and nation.
Reverend Caroline C. Sullivan
Walhalla native Reverend Caroline Sullivan was a dedicated public servant, ministering, pastoring, and teaching countless children in the Walhalla area. Her legacy included the founding and operation of three cherished churches: Flat Rock Baptist Church, New Galilee Baptist Church, and Trinity United Methodist Church. Beyond her congregations, she established the History of the Baptist Union Mission Church and School of Religious Education, Inc. in 1954, initially with 22 members serving as trustees. Through her leadership, this institution touched the lives of over 600 young individuals, equipping them with the tools to become preachers, teachers, and deacons, thus impacting communities far beyond her immediate reach.
Mrs. Sullivan’s dedication extended to the spiritual nourishment of the youth, overseeing the baptism of 276 children during her tenure. Her contributions became integral to the fabric of the Seneca River Association, inspiring admiration and respect from those she served. Revered for her unwavering commitment and boundless compassion, she touched the lives of many, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who had the privilege of knowing her.
Mr. Ruben Shannon Lovinggood
Walhalla native Reuben Shannon Lovinggood was a notable African American educator and leader in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He overcame poverty and significant challenges to pursue education through the Freedman’s Aid Society and Clark University. He worked as an editor, a part owner of the Atlanta Times, and served as the president of Sam Houston College. Lovinggood’s commitment to classical education, exemplified by his teaching of Greek and Latin, and his dedication to providing opportunities for African American students set him apart as a visionary educator and leader.
Lovinggood was an esteemed academic and active member of organizations dedicated to advancing African American interests. Despite battling health issues, he authored publications promoting education and addressing social and religious issues within the community. His legacy continues to be honored through scholarships and remembrance events, reflecting his profound impact on African American education and society.
Sgt. Willie Johnson
Walhalla native Sergeant Willie Johnson was the only African American from Oconee County that lost his life serving the United States of American during the Vietnam War. A hero, who also served in the Korean Conflict, among his many medals he was awarded the Silver Star. He spent his leave time with his family and riding his Honda Goldwing. Sgt. Johnson was the eldest of fourteen children born to Mr. Bert and Mrs. Alice Johnson of Walhalla and he and his wife Lillie Mae had seven children.
He was awarded the following medals for his service: Purple Heart, Silver Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Two Bronze Stars for Valor.