Restoration: Clinton AME Zion Church in Great Barrington
We need your help to save the former Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington. The Church has been a spiritual, cultural and political home for the African American community for 130 years, and was a place of significance for the town’s most famous native son, W.E.B. Du Bois.
Tucked away at 9 Elm Court in the heart of downtown, this unique landmark is listed on the Nation Register of Historic Places and is a site on the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail.
Urgent action must be taken to save the building, which has been out of use for several years and is in severe disrepair.
A Brief History of the Effort:
In November 2016 about 25 people from the community gathered to discuss options for purchasing, restoring, and preserving the history and legacy of Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington. Present were elected officials, members of the former congregation, local historians, activists, preservationists, civil rights scholars, W.E.B. Dubois scholars, and concerned citizens.
All share a love for the church building, and a desire to see it preserved. This was a strategy meeting, and did not include “programming” or discussions on the ultimate use, as there is some urgency to acquire the property and implement some stop gap measures to prevent further damage from the leaking roof.
A solution for the purchase of the church was proposed, which included creating a new nonprofit organization to hold title to the building (at least through the acquisition / restoration phases), plus partnering with the regional non profit Housatonic Heritage, which will provide fiduciary services.
Fundraising Goal #1: Met!
On March 30, 2017 Clinton Church Restoration, LLC was pleased to announce that the group has surpassed its initial goal of raising $100,000 to purchase, restore and repurpose the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church. The plan is to finalize the purchase in May 2017, and to begin working on the ‘restoration’ of the property.
CCR’s goal is to create a vital and self-sustaining entity for community use that celebrates and honors the 130-year history of the former Clinton Church. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a site on the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, the church was the spiritual, political and cultural hub for local African Americans. It was also a place of significance to W.E.B. Du Bois, Great Barrington’s most famous native son.
Please Donate to the Clinton Church Restoration Fund!
- Donate Online:
- Donate by Mail:
PO Box 611
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Checks must be made payable to: ‘Housatonic Heritage’, and include in the MEMO line: ‘Clinton Church Restoration’
100% of donations received through this portal are used exclusively for the acquisition and restoration of the Clinton Church. All donations are tax deductible to the extent that your personal finances allow.
Our goal is to restore and preserve the the church building in a manner that celebrates Great Barrington’s history, W.E.B. Dubois, and the local African American community.
We estimate that we need to raise approximately $100,000 to purchase the building and shore it up for winter to prevent further deterioration.
Contact Us: SaveAMEChurch@gmail.com
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