Wetumpka Church Votes to Tear Down Historic Chapel

A Wetumpka church damaged by last year’s tornado has voted to tear down its historic chapel.  Now, the Elmore County Historical Society is asking church leaders to reconsider this decision.

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The First Baptist Church Wetumpka congregation voted to tear down its historic chapel earlier this week.  The chapel was built in the 1850s and is now on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and the National Register of Historic Places.

Pastor Dr. James Troglen says the tornado took off the roof, damaged the steeple, damaged the windows and left extensive water damage.  He says this decision came down to the money they have to repair the church’s multi-purpose building versus the cost of repairing the historic chapel.

“While we appreciate them being interested in all of the historical aspects in Elmore County, in Wetumpka, this is a church decision. It has to be made by the people who work, love, worship here,” Troglen explained.

From here, Dr. Troglen says the electrical wiring will have to come out of the building, that could begin as soon as this week.
They will then decide what can be salvaged before the building comes down.

The Elmore County Historical Society declined an on-camera interview but released a statement saying in part:

“In accordance with recommendations from the National Register, we ask the church leadership to prayerfully consider contacting our local State Historic Preservation Office, the Alabama Historical Commission, before taking any further action.”


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