Gulf Power employees and AABE partners with UWF to preserve historic cemetery


WHO:  Gulf Power’s Transformers and UWF Archaeology Institute

WHAT:  Supervised clean up of Historic Mount Zion Cemetery

WHEN:  Thursday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

WHERE:  Historic Mount Zion cemetery (corner of Cross Road and Guillemard Street

As part of their MLK Day of Service community outreach project, Gulf Power’s service organization, Transformers, and the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, will partner with the University of West Florida’s Archaeology Institute for clean up of Mount Zion Historic Cemetery.

Mount Zion is one of several African-American cemeteries that came into being in Pensacola the late 19th and early 20th century. Most were organized in response to repressive Jim Crow laws.

“Mount Zion serves as an important physical reflection of Pensacola’s African-American community from the late 1800s and unfortunately, the cemetery has not been actively maintained,” said Verdell Hawkins, Gulf Power Community Relations manager. “We may not be able to complete the project in one day, but our employees are giving their best efforts and they want to make a difference in our local communities.”

Many of the people buried in Mount Zion were either born into slavery or were first generation post emancipation. Burial with dignity was very important and the burial societies and early African-American owned insurance companies provided for this need.

Mount Zion Historical Cemetery has a story to tell as a substantial number of veterans from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War are buried there.


Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 447,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at


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