Bethel AME Church moving forward after damage in Wednesday storms

A picture at Bethal AME from the 1970s of a vacation Bible school class.
A picture at Bethal AME from the 1970s of a vacation Bible school class.(WALB)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:06 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Members of Bethel AME Church in Albany say they’ll likely find out next week if their historic church can be saved.

Many people at the church told WALB News 10 on Friday that they’ve been members all their life. And seeing the damage from Wednesday’s storm was a devastating blow.

Pinneice Mosely is a Bethel AME church member and is featured in the picture below at the...
Pinneice Mosely is a Bethel AME church member and is featured in the picture below at the church from the 1970s.(WALB)

Pinneice Mosely was born and raised in Albany. She has been a member of the church all her life and she remembers going to Sunday school as a child in the 142-year-old building.

She is even featured in one of the pictures hanging on the wall in the multi-service center, along with other artifacts. The picture is of a 1970s vacation Bible school class at the church.

“This picture brings back so many memories,” Mosely said about the photo. “It’s always been my favorite picture. I was around 8 years old. This was vacation bible school, so that was one of my fondest, some of my fondest memories of attending Bethel. As well as looking forward to the summer.”

Mosley said she and other members have been on site since Wednesday to help clean up and salvage what they can.

Dr. Michael Ephraim is the pastor at Bethel AME church.
Dr. Michael Ephraim is the pastor at Bethel AME church.(WALB)

Pastor Michael Ephraim said despite the damage, members are still trying to save some artifacts.

“Just a few chairs,” Ephraim said. “We’re trying to get the artwork that’s in the north backs. Because the inside is not safe. There are some artifacts. A communion kit that the ancestors had had for a number of years.”

Carlton Hollis is a steward at Bethel AME Church.
Carlton Hollis is a steward at Bethel AME Church.(WALB)

Carlton Hollis, a steward at the church, said saving artifacts was important to him too.

“One of the things we did recover were the communion trays. Of course, that’s kind of a sacred thing,” Hollis said. “All of the members take the sacrament on first Sunday, so perhaps if it turns out we’re building a new structure, that’s something that we’ll want to take with us.”

Michael said if the building has to be demolished, saved artifacts will definitely go into the new building in order to preserve the past.

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