Owners of Historic First Presbyterian Church in Montgomery Consider Demolition
Some people are fighting to keep a historic Montgomery landmark in tact, while others are making it clear about why it’s time for a change for the old First Presbyterian Church building in downtown Montgomery.
For several years Michael Coleman has operated “Hope Inspired Ministries out of Montgomery’s historic First Presbyterian Church. But soon the doors will close and the building will be demolished.
“We understand that the building is safe at the moment but over time it won’t. It’s just not structurally sound,” says Coleman.
First Baptist Church Montgomery, owns the building and operates some of its community ministries out of it.
Jay wolf, pastor of First Baptist says it could cost nearly $3 million to repair the church.
“What we would spend just to stabilize the old building. We can build an entire facility for that actually for less,” says Wolf.
He says, a case study was started 3 years ago. At the time, he was hoping to save the building.
“But when it became apparent that you had this tremendous amount of damage – look this is where we knocked a hole in the roof and saw the end of these trusses that are rotting,” says Wolf.
Some people aren’t buying it. There is now a Facebook page called “Friends of First Presbyterian Montgomery.
It’s getting people on board to support preserving the church. Wolf says, there are plans to keep part of the building which is the bell tower.
“We really don’t have to do that but this is our way of acknowledging the importance of history and the contribution of that church,” says Wolf.
“I like that they’re saving as much as they can,” says Coleman.
Wolf hopes to rebuild a more modern building that he says could help tens of thousands more people.
“One person suggested that we were not thoughtful or we have not done our homework,” says Wolf.
Wolf says, says that’s not true and he hopes others understand the long-term vision.
“This is a real report that took months to comply by professionals. It wasn’t just a walk around the exterior,” says Wolf.
There is no word yet on when demolition could begin. Michael Coleman of Hope Inspired Ministries tell me there his organization does not have any future plans right now as to where he will operate when the demolition of the First Presbyterian Church begins.
Pastor Jay Wolf of First Baptist Montgomery, says it would take about a year to rebuild a smaller and modern facility once the old church is torn down.