Historic Mt. Zion AME Zion Church Gets Another $500,000 Grant
We have good news in a story that Alabama News Network has been following for years. The foundation working to restore the historic Mt. Zion AME Zion Church in Montgomery has received a second $500,000 grant from the National Park Service.
The Mount Zion Center Foundation is working to turn the church into a museum. It is a key landmark in Montgomery’s civil rights history.
The church is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was chosen to lead the Montgomery Improvement Association, which organized the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was a stopping point for people taking part in the Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965. The church was also a backdrop in the 1990 film “The Long Walk Home.” That film featured Whoopi Goldberg.
But after the congregation moved to a newer location, the church building was sold and fell into disrepair.
The National Park Service grant is one of 51 going to projects across 20 states and the District of Columbia, which are sharing $14 million to preserve sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century.
The Mount Zion Center Foundation plans to use the money to renovate the Fellowship Hall on the first floor, the sanctuary on the second floor and the balcony and tower areas. Besides the restoration, work will have to be performed to get the church up to current building and fire codes, occupancy requirements and accessibility standards.