Harpers Ferry, W.Va. (WDVM)– The Harpers-Ferry Bolivar Historic Town Foundation is continuing to restore the old First Zion Baptist Church in Harpers Ferry.
The church has sat vacant for nearly 15 years and is a historic African American church. The foundation is currently working on acquiring three grants to help with their restoration efforts. The grants will help remove a chimney off the back of the building and test the building for asbestos. The foundation wants to restore the building to preserve its history.
“It’s pretty interesting history, and by saving it we can provide another space for our neighbors to come and learn about the unique culture that is Harpers Ferry,” said Carrie Gauthie, a board member with the Harpers-Ferry Bolivar Historic Town Foundation.
“Harpers Ferry doesn’t have a community center proper and so we think community center or cultural arts center would be a real asset to the town, and this is a wonderful old building located right behind town hall,” said Ed Wheeless, president of the Harpers-Ferry Bolivar Historic Town Foundation.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of First Zion Baptist Church. The foundation is planning an ice cream social on July 28th to both celebrate and encourage people to help restore the church.