“It would be a major loss if it’s torn down,” Josh Rogers, director of the Historic Macon Foundation, told WMAZ-TV. “Macon has too little African American architecture that has been saved. Once it’s gone, it’s irreplaceable.”
The Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to take up the developer’s plan to raze the church Tuesday.
The church’s pastor, Camille Holmes, said in a written statement to the planning commission that congregation members are “praying for the sale” so they can put the money into their new church.
Church members say fixing problems at the old building would cost them $350,000 – roughly twice the church property’s appraised value.
Theresa Robinson, a church trustee, pointed out that Tremont Temple Baptist isn’t listed on official registers that give protection to threatened historic buildings. But Rogers of the Historic Macon Foundation said he believes the church should be off-limits for demolition because it’s a “contributing building” to Macon’s downtown historic district.
“To me, it’s never been a viable option for demolition,” Rogers said.
“We really want to find a preservation-minded developer that could use it.”