Former pastor speaks after the demolition of historic Savannah church
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – We have an update on a story we first brought to you last week about a church demolition in Savannah.
We have heard several historians believe that the building has some historical significance, with links to the civil rights movement. The pastor who preached there most recently believed that too.
Pastor Eric Jackson has led Faith on the Move ministries at this site for almost 20 years. Jackson shared how he felt when he learned that his old church on East Broad was being demolished.
âI was, to say the least, I was shocked to learn that they were demolishing the building,â Jackson said.
Jackson explained that he didn’t even think it was possible, given the history of the church. Jackson added that he felt the church would be spared and used by another congregation when it sold it about four years ago to a local business.
âIt’s more than just a building. It’s more than just a building, I would say, because of the simple fact that if you go back and look at the rich history that we have in our city … this building would have played a big part in the history of Savane. “
Jackson says that while cleaning up the church when his ministry took over in 1999, he found papers that indicated that civil rights icons like Andrew Young and Martin Luther King, Jr. had visited the shrine in 1967.
As for the structure itself, the demolition was carried out within a week. Now there is only a cleared area, bordered by fences with heavy machinery still on site.
Records we pulled from city files revealed that Savannah Code Compliance has cited the property several times over the past few months, noting roof and window damage and improper siding of openings.
As to the future of the property, city records show that the current owner has yet to submit construction plans. The property is owned by a local company. The OMCC called the head of the company to find out why the church was demolished and he declined to comment.
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