Descendants of both victims — the black man who was lynched and the white girl he was falsely accused of murdering — plan to be here for Sunday's prayer service.
The two women, one from Chicago, the other from Memphis, plan to go down to the river, rain or shine, to stand and pray with hundreds of others near the site of both brutal murders.
"We have to acknowledge and address the pain before we can begin to heal," said Laura Wilfong Miller. Her great-grandmother and Antonetty Rappel's mother were sisters.
Two markers will memorialize the tragic and shameful events that occurred here in the spring of 1917.
Both markers, approved Thursday by the Shelby County Historical Commission, will mention the two victims of those events.
Antoinette Rappel, a 15-year-old white girl who was brutally assaulted and murdered on her way to school April 30, 1917.
Ell Persons, a 50-something black woodcutter accused of the crime who was brutally assaulted and murdered by a lynch mob May 22 that year.
A local church-based group is working to locate and memorialize the site of every post-Civil War lynching in Shelby County.
The group, which is calling itself "Responding to Racism," is led by three retirees, all white and all members of First Congregational Church.
Rev. Randall Mullins, a retired United Church of Christ minister, sent an email to more than a dozen local clergy on Friday asking them to join the effort and recruit others.