Tabernacle Baptist Church Receives $750K Grant for Church Repairs


Fish, Wildlife, and Parks awarded the Tabernacle Baptist Church a $750,000 grant for renovations to the 101-year-old tower. Shannon Estenoz, the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, made the news on Thursday, March 23, in Selma at the historic Tabernacle Baptist Church, which is located on Broad Street in Selma.

Church Renovation

The chairwoman of the Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church Legacy Foundation, Dr. Verdett Lett Dawson, said the money would be utilized to modernize the building's electrical system. She also mentioned that it would be done following the criteria to guarantee that the building would keep its historical classification.

According to the Selma Sun, Dawson said the building would undergo several improvements in the not-too-distant future, including the electrical system. They reportedly refer to it as rehabilitation, and all of them are now in the planning stages; however, they hope that by the fall of 2023, they can start working on all of them simultaneously.

She stated that repairs to the foundation would come first, followed by installing a new roof. When that is finished, work will begin on the interior. Moreover, Estenoz stated that it is critical to maintain historical structures and locations such as Tabernacle Baptist so that future generations can learn about the history of the United States. She emphasized the significance of preserving these locations so that the story may be handed down from generation to generation without interruption. She said this was considered an investment by the Department of the Interior, of which Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is a component.

The return on investment is reportedly the preserved history and the benefits that the church and its tower will provide to the community, Estenoz added. She concluded by stating that the Interior Department is tasked with telling the history of the United States through sites such as Tabernacle Baptist Church and others that were so instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement because what we refer to as Black History is a part of American history as a whole.

In addition, Reverend Otis Dion Culliver expressed his gratitude to Estenoz and her department for funding and visiting Selma. In a recent interview, JoAnne Bland, a legendary foot soldier, co-founder, and previous National Voting Rights Museum director, emphasized the significance of preserving history.

As mentioned, the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks provide numerous opportunities for the general public to voice their opinions and provide feedback on a wide range of topics, including council recommendations, hunting and fishing regulations, issues, rules, grants, environmental assessments, land acquisition, development or enhancement projects, and more.

Also Read:St. Rita Catholic Church, Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Receive Grant Money from African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

Tabernacle Baptist Church

On July 10, 2013, the Tabernacle Baptist Church was included on the list of historic places the National Park Service maintained. It was reportedly established in 1884 to serve the needs of Selma University students, staff, and other members of the growing African American middle class. 

Reverend Dr. D. V. Jemison, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., was one of the pioneering and enduring leaders among the church's pastors and members who were leaders in pioneering and enduring African-American Baptist organizations. Only one church in the United States can claim to have produced four presidents and three general secretaries for the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. That church is Tabernacle Baptist..

Related Article:Lilly Endowment Inc. Gave $3 Million Grant for Reconstruction of Historic First Baptist Church in Williamsburg