Historic Auburn church set to be demolished, community reacts

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 11:25 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - White Street Baptist Church in Auburn is scheduled to be demolished soon.

The church has more than 70 years of history and residents in the community and members of the church are not happy about the church being destroyed.

The footsteps of many local residents, young and old, have walked the red stairs of White Street Baptist Church and now the possibility of that happening again is over.

Auburn Councilwoman Connie Taylor lives in the same community as White Street Baptist Church and she is pleading for the church to remain a historical marker in the community.

“Just hear our cry and understand that this is history to us,” Council Woman Taylor said.

People in the same community said they wanted the same thing.

“I’m kind of hurt because it’s been apart of this community and it was named after this street, White Street and it’s like a heritage,” one Auburn resident said.

According to Councilwoman Taylor, the church was built in the 1930s by a group of church members attending the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Thach Avenue in Auburn during The Great Depression.

“These people built this church by hands and they paid with their nickels, dimes and quarters to pay for it, so it has so much history,” Taylor said.

Taylor says she found out the church was scheduled to be torn down from city officials.

“[I] saw that there was a permit out there, a demolition permit, so I got worried and upset,” said Taylor.

The current pastor at the time, Pastor Johnny Green put the church on the market in 2008, and it had sat there for years.

“It’s one of the last churches that was built in this area that hasn’t been remodeled, that has history,” said Green.

Now, White Street Baptist Church has a new location and Councilwoman Taylor said the history of the original church should be preserved in some way.

“I would say this is all of Auburn and I would say most of the historical sites are gone,” Taylor said.

If the outcome stays the same, Councilwoman Taylor says she is planning a candlelight vigil for members of the church and in the community to say goodbye.

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