The historic Brown Chapel AME Church, which was a vital space for voting rights protests and on “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama, has been listed on the endangered places list, NBC News reports.
Due to many factors, the landmark church, which was once a beautiful structure, is now falling apart. According to Juanda Maxwell, one of the church's parishioners, the wood of the church has decayed because of termites making it unstable and water leaks have damaged the walls. Additionally, mold has grown throughout the building.
“It’s in horrible shape,” Maxwell said. “It’s a tough time. Because we were closed for a year, it exacerbated the problem with water coming in.”
Maxwell currently serves with a group of Brown Chapel members that are trying to raise funds for repairs that total over $4 million.
"Our goal is to try to receive over $3 million in grants to do the foundational work. After that we hope to get in more private donations," Maxwell said.
Currently, the church has only a few dozen members who attend on Sundays and it relies on grants and outside donations to stay afloat.
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve sites that are in danger of being lost, Brown Memorial was at the top of the list.
Since October, the members have been unable to gather in the building since repair work began so the faithful few attend service online.
"We're Zooming. The pastor is searching for a place," she said.