Local Church Receives NPS Grant for Restoration Work

Historic Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Selma, Alabama receives a 1.3-million-dollar grant from the National Park Service through the African American Civil Rights Grants Program. 

The Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society Foundation partnered with architect Richard Hudgens to conduct an examination of the church’s structural integrity as part of an assessment for the grant. After the assessment, the church and Hudgens compiled and submitted plans for structural restoration and repairs.

The application, approved earlier this month, will be executed by the Lathan Company of Mobile, Alabama. The project will be conducted in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standard and Guidelines for Archeology and the Treatment of Historic Preservations.

In a ceremony back in June, Governor Kay Ivey, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, and Bishop Harry Seawright of the AME Church in Alabama participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking service at the church in anticipation of receiving the grant funds.

During the Civil Rights’ movement, Brown Chapel served as the organizing site for civil rights’ leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and others in preparation for the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge that would culminate in the events of “Bloody Sunday” March 7, 1965. After nonviolent protesters were attacked by police officers, they retreated to the church for respite and reorganizing.

The church has been on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage since 1976 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

Source: Christian Recorder