Albany church damaged in Wednesday storms, church may be demolished

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Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 11:50 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An historic church in downtown Albany was damaged following Wednesday’s stormy weather.

Bethel AME Church, 217 South Washington Street, saw damage following Wednesday’s weather.

The historic church has served greater and downtown Albany since 1867. Church officials are now saying what remains of the structure may need to be demolished.

The church is working to clean up the heavy damage.

From the outside of the church, the damage appears to be minimal. But what happened inside has many church members distraught.

Carlton Hollis, steward of Bethel AME, inspected the damage Thursday morning.

“It sort of created a cascading effect that knocked down rafters and the roofing structure onto the pews of the church,” Hollis said. “So it’s probably damaged to I would get about 75-80% of the church.”

Hollis said he knows the church and its members are resilient.

“I think devastating is the word, but the congregation I think is going to be strong. Our pastor sort of told us that the building is not the church. The people, the members are the church. So I think we’ll rebound and rebuild,” he said.

The church will meet at the multi-service center next door for Sunday service.

If you would like to assist with the Bethel AME Church Emergency Relief effort, you may send your contributions to either of the following:

  • Bethel AME Church Emergency Relief Fund through Truist Bank
  • CashApp at $BethelAME
  • Givelify to Bethel AME Church, Pastor Michael Ephraim, Albany, GA 31701
  • US Mail to Bethel AME Church, 217 S Washington Street, Albany, GA 31701

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