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Columbus church breaks ground on new location, leaves original home of 137 years

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 1:25 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A local church has began building in its new location after being in the same location for 137 years.

The Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church broke ground on the new location after over 20 years of talks, negotiations and building partnerships to make the move happen.

The church has sat at 4400 Old Cusseta Road for 137 years. The existing sanctuary was built in 1967, before an interstate ran next to it.

“A lot of sentimental things that are attached in terms of the 4400 Old Cusseta Road where the church has been for some 137 years,” said Dr. David Stallings, Senior Pastor at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church. “A lot of the members grew up here as children - and as far as they are concerned that was their home and it’s still their home. And so yes it was a hard decision. So it really came down to us having a love for the community.”

The move will make way for a new highway interchange at Cusseta Road. The economic development includes low-to-moderate income based housing and a redevelopment zone that stretches from downtown to Bibb City.

To create a needed interchange at Cusseta Road, the church would have to be purchased and torn down. Through a deal with the city and the Housing Authority of Columbus, the church will be moving to Farr Road.

“Well once we got past the usual and customary way of pulling things together and we all got on the same page, then we started focusing on how we could move forward together,” said Isaiah Hughley, City Manager of Columbus. “They are going to be able to construct a new church building and continue to move their congregation and the community forward. It’s a great day for all of us - a great partnership.”

The foundation came out of the ground and has been laid on the land and is now prepared for the new home of Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church. This also means new growth for the community as a whole.

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