Parishioners work to preserve the history of Mt. Tabor Church

(WHTM) – A group of community members are working to preserve a significant piece of African American history in Cumberland County.

Mount Tabor AME Zion Church is the oldest African American Episcopal Church in Cumberland County. “It’s been here since about 1870 and closed in 1970,” said Carmen James, the president of the Mt. Tabor Preservation Project.

James indicated that if you’re an African American and you want to pray and go to church in Mount Holly, that’s where you go.

“It was the social hub,” James said. “That’s what kept this community together and made it feel like a home.”

The mission of the community members? “To make sure it’s restored and maintained,” James said.

The church acted as the foundation for the fellowship, and ironically, the first thing they do is work on the very foundation of the church.

The preservation of the church is very important to James.

“It’s an important piece of history and all too often little nuggets of history go untold,” James explained.

The church stood abandoned for almost 50 years until recently. Renovation work is currently being carried out on the church to restore it.

No matter how big or small, James mentioned that every part of the story is important.

“Every piece of history is important, and every story, it all started with collecting stories with heart and soul. No matter how small the story, big things can come out of it,” said James. Parishioners work to preserve the history of Mt. Tabor Church

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