AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - "My prayer was, 'Lord, let this building stand. Let it not be demolished,'" Rev. Skip Mason, Pastor of Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church, told NewsChannel 6.
The original Mother Trinity Church is 130 years old: Birth place of Georgia's Christian Methodist Episcopal denomination. In 1840, a group of enslaved and freedmen left an all-white methodist church to establish one of their own. For thirty years, they worshipped outside on 8th Street, then eventually in a small building where the current stands.
"Men and women who had very little hope in a particular time in history could come for spiritual worship, for restoration," Rev. Skip Mason said.
Then in 1870, Mother Trinity as we know it was built. Expansions were added, and a brick facade was put up in the following years. In the 1990's, it was discovered that the church was sitting on contaminated soil.
The congregation moved to a new location after it received a 3-million-dollar settlement from Atlanta Gas Light, which now owns the building. But in 2016 when AGL planned to demolish the sacred building, the Augusta Canal Authority and other preservation groups spear-headed a movement to stop that plan.
"To see a church that has sat there for so many years hoisted up,as if God came, and just lifted it up off of the ground..." Rev Mason said of its current state.
If you ride past Taylor and 8th Streets Wednesday, you will mostly likely see the building moving on wheels to its new location-- directly across the street.
The church's historic artifacts currently reside in Trinity CME Church. Rev. Skip Mason explained Mother Trinity will need renovations, and the future of the space is still up in the air: "It will always be the Mother Trinity CME facility, but with new meaning and new purpose."
The Augusta Canal Authority and Augusta Commissioners will decide what the space will become.
Mother Trinity is expected to remain on the moving dollies for a few weeks until placed on new foundation.
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