by Janita Poe/@AtlantaPolitics
CASCADE HEIGHTS — The congregation of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church — one of two historic African-American structures razed last year to make way for a new $1.2-billion Atlanta Falcons stadium — celebrated its first Easter service today in its new southwest Atlanta location.
The occasion comes just a month before Mt. Vernon — now across from Young Middle School at Mays and Lynhurst — celebrates 100 years since the congregation became a church, according to the church’s website. The official march into the new facility was Palm Sunday, according to Associate Pastor Walter Mobley.
Mt. Vernon’s vote to accept $14.5 million from the city for their 53-year-old downtown home and that of landmark Friendship Baptist to accept $19.5 million, did not come without controversy. Historic preservationists, devout Baptists and other groups strongly opposed the churches selling their structures for any price. Some church members and their supporters, however, said the funds will allow the two churches to build and grow.
Editor’s Note: The author is the grandniece of the Rev. J.R. Lovett, who pastored Mt. Vernon from 1952 to 1962.
Image: Janita Poe