African Museum inducts Bishop Shelton Fabre

The Finding our Roots African American Museum inducted Bishop Shelton Fabre in a special ceremony yesterday at the museum’s site 918 Roussell Street in Houma.

The museum also received indexes on slave baptisms in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes from the diocese, which provide information on slaves, dates, and their owners or sponsors.

Margie Scoby, museum president, said the information is an important step for the community as it works to establish itself as a research center.

“The 3,000 records the diocese is donating, cover a period of slavery and reconstruction from 1820 to 1895,” Scoby said. “This is the largest donation of historic documents to the museum. And for them to be presented by the diocese’s first African American Bishop, is even more amazing. We will recognize this important event by installing Bishop’s Fabre photo and biography into our museum.”

For more information, Scoby said she can be reached at 985-265-0407.

“This event is seen as ancestors coming home. It fits well with Bishop Fabre’s Episcopal motto, ‘Comfort My People’,” Scoby said.

This event was the second historical event the museum has held this year.

This summer, more than 20 descendants of 272 slaves Georgetown’s Jesuit priests sold off in 1838, known as GU272, toured the museum in June.

Their visit was in part to view the state’s only museum exhibit (thus far) about their history, and to learn about an area where many of their relatives were dislocated.

The day included the museum’s directors releasing the names of three slaves they found, who were part of the 272, as well as one of the museum’s officers, Alvin Tillman, the museum’s vice-president, finding out he too is a descendant.

Tillman, said he is a double descendant (on his paternal and maternal side), from Frank Campbell, one of three slaves who was sold off in Terrebonne Parish. The other two were William Granison Dorsey and John Baptiste.

The Finding our roots African American Museum is housed in a historic landmark called The Academy, one of two built by the Louisiana Southern Baptist Association of the Fifth District.

The Academy played a significant role in the education of African American people im Terrebonne Parish, established in 1891 and built in 1893.

Vice-President Alvin Tillman describes it as “a museum within itself.”

Bishop is also the Chair of the United State’s Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Ad Hoc Committee against Racism.

He is also the Chair of the conference’s Subcommittee on African American Affairs. He has been a member of that committee since 2010 and a member of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church since 2013.

Bishop Fabre was ordained a priest on August 5, 1989, an Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans on February 28, 2007, and Bishop of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese on September 23, 2013.

Bishop Fabre is also a 4th Degree Knight of St. Peter Claver and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.

Bishop Fabre