Alabama Church Set to Become Museum that ‘Celebrates Christian Impact’

A dilapidated historic church building in Alabama which has great ties to the civil rights movement is set to undergo refurbishing. However, it will be converted to a museum that “celebrates the Christian impact” it has brought on the community.

Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of Montgomery’s 19th-century building has gotten the sum of $500,000 in grants twice to help refurbish the building into a museum. The first grant was received in 2018 while the second was received in 2020. In 1990, the church members moved to another building while the old building was known as Mount Zion AME Zion Church Memorial Annex.

Mount Zion AME has a record of civil rights activism. They were involved in the Montgomery bus boycott which ensued when Rosa Parks was arrested in the 1950s.

In 1955, some faith leaders and a group of activists met at the church where they elected 26-year-old Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was elected as the head of the Montgomery Improvement Association. This gave the minister his first official civil rights role as a leader. In 1965, the church also served as a rest area for people who participated in the Selma March to support voting rights.

A member of the church who has been overseeing the project, Charles P. Everett IV, told the Christian Post that the refurbishing is set to be completed by next year August.

 “A year from now, we will be in a position to begin to have a museum that celebrates the Christian impact that Mount Zion AME Zion Church has had on Montgomery, Alabama, since 1866.

“It will convey the mighty movement of God and His provision for a church of people who were once enslaved. You got to remember that when we were organized, it was just a few months after the Civil War began to end.

‘’We are a church that has survived through the Reconstruction period of the South and of course, we are a church that has members that served during the modern civil rights movement and there are members of the church who, once the laws of Jim Crow began to fall, answered the call to duty. We are hoping to celebrate in that museum the impact of Christian leadership through the ages, from 1866 to the present age,” Everett said.

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