A sesquicentennial Celebration - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A sesquicentennial Celebration

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

February 07, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One South Georgia church is celebrating a milestone this year.

For 150 years, Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church has been in Americus.

 "It's very significant because a lot of churches who have almost gotten this far have crumbled with all the pressures of the congregation and the world," said Rev. Lodenia W. Coleman, Pastor.

But the Anniversary is bitter sweet.

"The structure of the church has deteriorated some what," said Coleman.

Because of the building's condition Saturday's celebration took place at Sumter Middle School.

The rapid deterioration caused church officials to move their services to another building in August 2008.

"Not only that but the bell fell from the tower, over 700 pounds fell from the tower back in September, and I just thankful to God that he gave me the vision to move the congregation out in August ,"said Coleman.

"It has been through quite a bit but the congregation has been very faithful," said Bishop William P. DeVaux, Six Episcopal District Prelate.

But all is not lost, though small in number the congregation is working bit by bit to raise close to a million dollars for renovations.

"It's going to take over $800,000 to restore our church," said Coleman.

Money the church will use to get their building back to its original beauty and beyond.

"We're not ashamed to ask because the bible said, ask and you shall receive," said Coleman.

The church is determined to be faithful until they reach their goal.

"We're asking the community for donations, we're a very small congregation but we're doing the very best that we can."

And though their building may be broken; for 150 years, the church is still standing strong.

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