Saturday, April 14, 2018

New Zion A.M.E.Zion Church Razed for Public Safety

Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church stood tall in the city for years but was demolished Saturday for public safety.
 New Zion A.M.E. Zion Church on North Myrtle Street in Warren was razed by a contractor Saturday morning, April 14.  Mayor Martin and the City of Warren had been working to get the building torn down and cleaned up for several weeks.  The City Council has for more than a year expressed concern for the building which was rich in heritage to Warren's African American Community.  A number of civil rights activists had visited the congregation and spoken in the church.   It was on the historic register.
Joyce Smith and Debra Green were on hand to try and recover
history left in the building.

The City of Warren had been trying to work with the owner of the property.  In recent months, the structure's roof caved in, and outer walls were bulging making it unsafe for nearby traffic areas and general safety of the public.  The City Council took final action to authorized the cleanup Tuesday evening in their April 2018 meeting. The owner of the property will be billed for the cleanup.  If they do not pay, a lien will be placed on it for the amount of the cleanup.

Before razing the structure, the city removed the cornerstone and a time capsule found behind it for preservation of history.

Two former members of the church were on hand observing the demolition and trying to collect any books or history that could be found and salvaged.  Mrs. Joyce Smith told that the church was built in the early 1900's.  She and Mrs. Debra Green, both former members said they were saddened to see the church come down but understood the need to remove it for safety purposes.
The above photograph was found by Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Green.  If you can identify this couple, email and we will pass the information on to the ladies.

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