2 historic Black churches in Cleveland receive grant money for preservation costs
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is donating $4 million to 35 historic Black churches across the nation to help fund the cost of preserving and maintaining the structures.
Four of the churches are located in Ohio.
• Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (Foundation for Appalachian Ohio), Nelsonville
• Wesley Temple AME Zion Church, Akron
• East Mount Zion Baptist Church, Cleveland
• Cory United Methodist Church, Cleveland
“Leaving an indelible imprint on our society, historic Black churches hold an enduring legacy of community, spirituality, and freedom that continues to span generations,” said Brent Leggs, executive director, African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and senior vice president, National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of Black historic places.
“The Action Fund created the Preserving Black Churches program to recognize and celebrate the Black church for its contributions on American life, culture, and history, while also investing in their physical permanence and financial sustainment into the future. We are honored to award our first round of grants with the resources needed to ensure the Black church continues to stand in its fullest glory,” said Leggs.
Leggs told 19 News many of the churches maintain deep history. Cory United Methodist Church was a frequent stop for Black Leaders during the civil right movement.
“It was a same space Mary Anderson sang, or Dr. King and Malcolm X delivered speeches,” said Leggs.
According to The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, Cory Methodist United Church plans to use the grant for restoration efforts as an active church and community landmark.
Leggs said Wesley Temple AME Zion Church will receive $100,000, and East Mount Zion Baptist Church $85,000.
“Historic Black churches are of significance, and they are worthy of preservation” said Leggs.
Leggs told 19 News the churches will receive the grant money in about 2 months.
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