The George Henry White

Memorial Health & Education Center

What is the George Henry White Memorial Center:

The establishment of the GHW Memorial Health and Education Center facilitates the establishment of a monument in Bladen County where the late Congressman GHW was raised during his youth, and will highlight his courageous stand for racial justice in the face of public apathy.  This community center will also provide a location in Bladen County to highlight the rich history of the Farmer’s Union Community, and its surrounding neighbors, i.e. St. James, Bolton, Pembroke, and other surrounding communities.  


The center will also help improve the lives of the citizens of the community by serving as an education center to attend classes on preventive health care, GED preparation, financial management, community empowerment, and a variety of other subjects.  Public and private donations are being solicited to help finance the project.  

The BESDF, Inc, which is a nonprofit group, established for educational, literary, and charitable purposes among other functions is leading the project.  Tax-deductible contributions to bring the project to fruition are welcome and should be provided to BESDF, INC. as follows:


BESDF, Inc, Attn: GHW Center
7 Jenee Lane
Durham, NC  27703-2563              
Tax ID: 56-2068902


Why the George Henry White Memorial Center is needed:

In a vastly underserved area, much of the work of filling in the gaps is taken up by the various church communities.  They perform many functions that are nothing short of heroic, and they have the added benefit of being able to draw upon shared beliefs and practices.

However, there is also a need for a civic space, that can be used by anyone in the community, for many functions that are not within the faith framework.  The public schools are closed during the summer, weekends and evenings.  Other public buildings have similar time or usage restrictions.  We need a space that can be used for things that serve the community at large--including all the different churches--but also can incorporate elements at the secular level.  Health care, education, history, civic meetings, youth groups, celebrations and artistic projects can be delivered to the general public through an easily accessible civic space.  

The George Henry White Memorial Center can be owned by the entire community, and can serve as a public space that can be used by the people, for the people.  Whether the need is a place for elderly to access services, or for tutoring, or for workforce training, the Bladen and Columbus country area will only benefit by having a center usable by all people in the community.

Renovation overview:

The estimated cost to renovate the house, landscaping, and provide intended amenities is approximately $120,000.   A representative of the North Carolina Museum of History has agreed to serve as an adviser to our foundation as we move through the steps necessary to bring this project to reality.  Since the project was introduced in July, 2014 and work stared during CY 2015, the following work has been accomplished and was paid for by donations totaling $63,446:

  • The metal roof has been repaired and a major section replaced.

  • The exterior siding has been repaired, primed, and painted with a high quality paint.

  • The exterior windows have been repaired and secured with security bars.

  • The four exterior doors have been secured with high security storm doors and master keyed.

  • The building interior has had framing done for installation of a 2nd bath for handicap persons.

  • The interior of the building has had structure deficiencies repaired.

  • The interior floors and walls that don't need additional work have been refinished and painted.

  • The building has temporary electrical service installed with an electric meter.

  • Wall and base kitchen cabinets, and counter tops have been installed and kitchen appliances have been purchased and installed

  • Installed water pump

  • Implemented a landscaping and lawn service initiative that results in regular grass cutting.

  • Placed a sign on the property to let the public know that the project is moving forward.

  • Issued a press release regarding project and three news articles were published in local news.

  • Pictures of work done since 2015 can be seen on website: www.georgehenrywhite.

  • The local community watch organization is providing security watch and other services.

Work Remaining on GHW Center and Costs

  1. Kitchen: Complete installation of flooring, backsplash, electrical, and plumbing! $3,500.00

  2.  Meals on Wheels Program: Kitchen Renovations to make usable as a location for a Meal on Wheel Program to support the local community! $2,800.00

  3. Assembly Hall: Remove wall between the two rooms on the North Side of the GHW Center to establish a place for large groups of persons to assemble! $6,500.

  4. Plumbing: Install plumbing to support the kitchen, two toilets, and outside irrigation system needs: $2,950.00

  5. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System: Install HVAC System for GHW Center: $15,000.00

  6. Electrical System: Install new electrical service for the GHW Center first and second levels! $5,800.00

  7. Dining Room: Install finish flooring and wainscot! $1,275.00

  8. Rear Porch Floor: Install new flooring and supports for rear poach! $1,850.00

  9. Pump House: Construct pump house for well pump! 1,500.00

  10. Light Fixtures: Upgrade light fixtures as needed! $1,000.00

  11. Interior Doors: Purchase and install new doors as needed for the GHW Center! $1,600.00

  12. Security System: Install security monitoring system for GHW Center! $2,300.00

  13. Windows: Install new windows for the GHW Center as needed! $2,560.00

  14. Second Floor: Clean out second floor and install storage and display equipment for community archives! $3,500.00

  15. Furniture and Equipment: Purchase miscellaneous furniture and equipment for bring the GHW Center into full service for the community! $4,419.00


Total Cost: $56,554 to complete all remaining work on GHW Center to make operational.

The next steps for the project during CY 2019, CY 2020 and CY 2021 include fundraising to accomplish the following:

  • Complete installation of electrical wiring for the building at an estimated cost of $5,800.

  • Install the HVAC for the building at an estimated cost of: $15,000.

  • Complete renovation of bathroom and installation of fixtures at cost of $2,500.

  • Install new plumbing for Kitchen and Bathrooms at estimated cost of $3,500.

  • Connect county water to the building once county extends water pipes at an estimated cost of $1,500.

  • Remove partition between dining room and bedroom to provide space for a community room at an estimated cost of $6,500.

  • Put second coat of paint on all interior walls and ceilings at an estimated cost of $2,500.

  • Repair front porch and rear porch as necessary and install handicap rails at estimated cost of $3,200.

  • Install ramp for handicap access to the building as per ADA Regulations at estimated cost of $3,000.00.

  • Expand rear porch for outside programs and dining at an estimated cost of $4,500, if extra funds or available

How you can help:

The raising of funds to complete work on the project is a constant and ongoing matter.  Regular donors support the project with annual donations each year.  Various fundraising activities are sponsored by the BESDF, Inc Fundraising Committee, and various community groups are assisting with fund raising.   The GHW website is constantly updated to report progress on the project. 


As mentioned herein before, BESDF, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group established for educational, literary, and charitable purposes, among other functions, is leading the project.  The tax ID number is 56-2068902. Tax-deductible contributions to bring the project to fruition are welcome and should be provided to BESDF, Inc. as follows:



Attn: GHW Center

7 Jenee Lane, Durham, NC 27703-2563


For questions on the project: Contact Vincent M. Spaulding, R.A. at 202-441-3589 or via email at


Thank you for your support and contributions!

News and Updates

Volunteers at the GHW Center Work Day, October 26, 2019, sponsored by the “Community Watch Organization” for the St. James, Farmers Union, and Welches Creek Communities.  Featured in several of the pictures is the Whiteville High School Drama Theatrical Class grades 9-12 and their teacher. The group won a prestigious award from the American High School Theatre Festival to travel to Scotland and England. The “Community Watch” is helping these students raise funds for their trip.  Donations to help the students cover the cost for the trip can be made as follows:


Mailing a Check to:

WHS Drama Club

413 N Lee Street

Whiteville, NC 28472


Or Online at:

Trip ID: 179795


The POC for Questions: Ms Julia Heckathorn

Current Activities as the GHW Center

The Memorial Garden

Community Turkey Shoot - Dec 7, 2019

Links and Resources

Contact Us

All Rights Reserved © 2019 BESDF, Inc |  Design by LightSmith Productions