ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A former city commissioner and prominent church leader is one step closer to commemorating Albany's role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Reverend Henry Mathis of Shiloh Baptist Church has proposed a historic marker at the spot where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed during the Albany Movement in the 1960s.
The former jailhouse was in the area along Pine Avenue between what is currently the government center and downtown tag office.
Mathis wants to add the marker to let residents and tourists to know of the area's historical significance. County leaders were supportive of the project when he went before them during Monday's county commission, he said.
Mathis has met with the Georgia Historical Society and is in the process of forming a committee. The committee will be dedicated to gathering the documents and raising the necessary funds for the project.
Mathis said the marker will stimulate tourism in the city.
"The ball is rolling. We believe, and I firmly believe, that it's not only beneficial from a historical perspective but also an academic perspective and an economic perspective," he said, "because I know that there are tours that are going all around Albany and not coming into Albany so we want to bring some of that tourism money to Albany which in my opinion will help stimulate some economic development."
Mathis also wants to extend the freedom footsteps from their current ending point on Oglethorpe to the spot on Pine Avenue.
He hopes to have the plaque in place by next year's MLK Walk in January.