Historic church holds prayer vigil to keep building

Historic church holds prayer vigil to keep building

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A historic church in Downtown Augusta could lose the building that started their entire denomination.

"In 184, 125 slaves and freed men march from about 4 blocks down from St. John's Methodist Church, it was a white church, to this land," said Rev. Skip Mason, the pastor at Trinity CME Church.

That land being the corner of 8th and Taylor Streets, where the former Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church once stood. Now it's empty.

"We thank the people of St. John, back then, to give us land to start and the church to start our denomination," said Bishop Kenneth W. Carter.

Eventually the building had to be evacuated because of contamination and church members are afraid they may lose such a staple in the community.

"If they tear this place down, we have no physical, tangible evidence where the Georgia Colored Conference was founded," said Rev. Skip Mason, the pastor of Trinity CME.

That's why members gathered on the steps of the building, that once served as the church of James Brown, to pray and show they are not ready to give up just yet.

"Our history is here and we would love to turn this into a community center, something for the community to recognize but also to recognize the start of our church," said Bishop Carter. "A museum or something that will be helpful for our children and our children's children to come and say this is where our start was."

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