Volunteers clean up slave cemetery in Irving

IRVING- Shelton Bear Creek cemetery sits high on a hill overlooking HWY 161 in Irving.

It's a small plot of land, but researchers believe it's the resting place for over 200 slaves and slave descendants.

"The first time I stepped foot in this cemetery, there were cows and cattle dung all over the place," said Anthony Bond of the Irving NAACP. "I dropped on my knees and cried like a baby...today, my heart is overflowing with gratitude."

Groups of all colors, cultures and backgrounds have come together to make sure the families resting in this cemetery finally get their due respect.

"The people who are buried here are founders of this community," said Father Bob Corley, St. Marks Episcopal Church who helped volunteer. "The community is built off their hard work. This is a place we can come together regardless of our faith, our race, and just work side by side."

For hours, Irving community members spent their Saturday morning clearing and restoring the area, but with another service day in the works for next month, organizers say this is just the beginning.

"The souls and the spirits of these people are still alive," Bond said. "We're just extremely grateful for the sacrifices they've made their whole lives. They never were able to enjoy the freedoms that we have today."