There’s a church in uptown Athens that I pass by occasionally. It often causes me to pause and wonder what the deal is but yesterday was the first time I’ve been on foot and really had a chance to do anything more than wonder.
The deal is that it’s a fabulous historic church that is teetering on the brink of ruin but that is in the hands of good people who are doing their best to save it. Here’s the short story: It’s called Mount Zion Baptist Church. The congregation was founded by African Americans in the late nineteenth century and this building was dedicated in 1906.
It enjoyed years of prosperity but a declining congregation forced the church to close. Years of neglect and lack of use have been incredibly damaging. You can see the signs of damage from the street but you can see even more from the interior pictures posted online by the group working to save the church. The picture of the inside shown above is not mine but the exterior shots are.
The Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society is doing its darndest to raise money for the repairs that will save this piece of Athens history. They even have the help of RVC Architects, the leading architectural firm in Athens. They have already replaced the roof, the first step toward stabilizing the structure and preventing further damage. But it’s a lot they have to raise and the amount of work needed is intimidating even to a stranger just walking by.
But look at the bones. Isn’t it fabulous?
Want to know more? You can read about the Preservation Society on their website where you will also find information on the church’s history as well as a place where you can donate if you feel inclined.