Celebrating Our Heritage
Serving Our Community
The Laurel County African American Heritage Center works to preserve African American history in Laurel County, Kentucky. Founder and Director Wayne Riley was raised in Laurel County, spent much of his adult life in Washington D.C., and eventually returned to his hometown in 1999.
Wayne Riley started LCAAHC in 2004 when the church in which he was raised was condemned and slated for demolition. Riley worked with community members to eventually save the church and turn it into the LCAAHC.
The Center has grown in mission and operations since that time. Today, LCAAHC operates the Center, a working and educational farm, a commercial kitchen, and a Farmers’ Market. The Laurel County African American Heritage Center is a non-profit entity devoted to assisting those in London, KY increase their self-reliance and take greater control of social and financial aspects of their lives.
The LCAAHC is engaged in a range of projects with the goal of community improvement. Read more about our Farmer's Market, Commercial Kitchen, Farm & Garden Program, and our Small Livestock Program.
The LCAAHC was founded by Director Wayne Riley to honor his late aunt, Lutisha Riley Bailey, and to preserve African American heritage and history in Laurel County. While the original mission of the LCAAHC was to preserve the history of African-American people in Laurel County, since its founding in 2004 the LCAAHC has expanded its mission. LCAAHC now uses the center to preserve cultural foodways, enhance community partnerships, address community food insecurity, and support value-added food producers in the region to scale up production and generate take-home income.
The Center is located in the renovated Mill Street Baptist Church in London, KY—a historic site saved from demolition by LCAAHC board members. The main hall now serves as a community meeting place and public archives. The space is also used to exhibit photographs and artifacts that tell the story of African-Americans in Laurel County.