Local Woman Trying to Save Historic African-American Church in Lincoln Co.
DENVER, N.C. – A local woman is trying to save an historic African-American church in Lincoln County.
Brevard’s Chapel United Methodist Church was founded by freed slaves in the 1870’s but now may not be able to reopen its doors.
“This church has been engraved in my life,” says L’Tanya Perry.
Perry grew up worshiping at the church. It was founded by one of her ancestors, and it’s where generations of her family have attended church. It’s where she got married.
“This is where we met, no matter how busy you were, we met here and we learned the word of God,” Perry says.
But now a padlock out front has Perry fighting to save Brevard’s Chapel.
She says the congregation could no longer pay dues to the United Methodist Church, because of declining attendance and the pandemic.
“Once they shut down all the churches all over the state, the United Methodists decided not to reopen this church,” Perry says.
Now she’s worried the property will be sold to another church or worse to someone who might tear down the historic building.
“If someone else take over, they can erase my whole history, all the way back from 1870’s,” Perry says.
Now she has started an online petition, asking the United Methodist Church to donate the property to her family.
She has also started a GoFundMe page.
If she’s successful in getting the property, Perry knows restarting the church may be impossible, so she envisions turning it into a community center for everyone in the Denver area.
“I want to keep the history, to continue to manifest, even if it’s in a new form or a new beginning,” Perry says.
She says Brevard’s Chapel was independent until the 1970’s, but joined the United Methodist Church in an effort to grow attendance, but that move also meant turning over the deed to the church.
She says she’s hopeful the UMC will take that into consideration as part of her request for them to donate the property.