Trinity CME Church on the move

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - - Many people have seen homes moved, but it's very rare to see a church transported. Wednesday, crews began moving Mother Trinity CME Church in downtown Augusta.  

It was certainly an historic occasion for all of Augusta, but definitely those associated with the CME church and even with the Augusta Canal Authority community.   It's a process for moving such a large structure 100 yards or 300 feet.  

"This is history in the making and the church is going to be saved," said Church member Mary Ellen Terrell, as she sang along to Blessed Assurance. 

It's a move that left her and others with nothing but high praises. 

"I'm saying hallelujah, what a blessing," she exclaimed.

And now in a ceremonial fashion, Augustans connected to Mother Trinity CME Church, snapped photos, took videos and watched as their beloved structure made its move.

"To see this old church hoisted up on steel beams with wheels slowly rolling across is nothing short of a miracle," said Rev. Dr. Skip Mason, Trinity CME Church Pastor.

And slowly is not understatement.  The move across Taylor Street is a process that will take hours, if not a day to travel from its old spot, down and up a curb and onto new ground.

Pastor Mason added, "This is anointed ground. This is holy ground.  This ground was set apart by our ancestors, slave and free, over 177 years ago."

Mother Trinity's roots run deep.  Rev. Dr. Skip Mason said it's the site of Paine College's first commencement and formerly a place where Lucy C. Laney once spoke.

It has also been the home church for Mary Ellen Terrell for more than 50 years.  

"The days when we would come to the church in the summertime and it would be very, very hot," she recalled.  "And the widows would be open because there was no air conditioner.  I can remember the fans turning and we wee not hot."

The church shut its doors in 1998 after the soil was contaminated.  It held services for a short time at Paine College before moving to its new location on Glenn Hills Drive.  The Augusta Canal Authority spear headed the move of the church that now sits near the end of the canal trail.

Pastor Mason said the future of the church is still being decided. 

"Some at the top included a cultural arts performance center where concerts will be held.  A multi purpose facility, an extension of the Lucy C. Laney Museum.  I think it will have a number of purposes.  Someone even suggested that we put a grocery store here," he said. 

Once Mother Trinity has moved into her new location, Atlanta Gas Light Company pledged $300,000 to Augusta Canal Authority. 

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