July 25, 2021

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$80K raised for New Haven’s historic Black church renovation – The Missourian

The enterprise to convey A mannequin new constructing face to downmetropolis New Haven is Greater th.......

The enterprise to convey A mannequin new constructing face to downmetropolis New Haven is Greater than half funded and persevering with To understand assist, Based mostly on David Menke, New Haven Preservation Society president.

Menke said the group’s fundraising advertising campaign to renovate and relocate Anna Bell Chapel, a historic Black church courting again to the Reconstruction Period, is approaching $80,000 of the $150,000 needed To maneuver the 156-yr-previous construction from its current house on a bluff overwanting the river to the riverfront. 

“All in all, we’re joyful,” Menke said of the progress. “It’s Solely a matter of endurance.”

Menke said the donations differ from private people giving round $50 to agency donations of As a lot as $10,000. The typical he sees is round $250, principally given by current and former residents Of latest Haven or Individuals Who’ve some connection to the group. 

The mannequin new Haven Board of Aldermen has twice voiced assist for the Anna Bell enterprise. Menke said the church’s transfer is tied to a metropoliswide enchancment enterprise Which will see road, sidewalk, curb, gutter and completely different enhancements to the downmetropolis block Inside The approaching yr. 

“Our enterprise Can be the centerpiece of that complete enchancment,” he said.

Menke beforehand tprevious The Missourian the renovation Is required to protect the church, which is Definitely one of two surviving historic Black church constructings in Franklin County. The as quickly as-thriving church has been vacant As a Outcome of the Nineteen Eighties, and the final surviving member handed amethod in 2006. Her nephew David Smith, who attended the church as A toddler, is now in his 80s and is involved Inside the restoration enterprise.

Smith and Menke envision the restored chapel as a group gathering place — a spot for every thing from metropolis hall conferences to quiet prayer teams — As properly as to A method to protect and spotlight New Haven’s rich historic previous. 

Tax-deductible donations for the enterprise Might be made by way of GoFundMe or mailed to the New Haven Preservation Society, P.O. Area 338, New Haven, MO 63068, with “Anna Bell Chapel” written on the memo line.

“We welcome any and all donations,” Menke said. “It’s wanting constructive.”