One of Atlanta’s historic churches from the Civil Rights era gets $4 million in federal funding

ATLANTA — One of Atlanta’s most important landmarks from the Civil Rights Movement is getting $4 million for preservation.

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The money is a federal grant for the historic West Hunter Street Baptist Church in northwest Atlanta.

Reverend Dr. Ralph Abernathy began his pastoral service at the church in 1961, where he served for 29 years.

“We give applause and praise to all who have gone into restoring this wonderful work,” Rev. Dr. Cedrick Von Jackson said.


Congresswoman Nikema Williams helped establish the church as a national historic site.

“West Hunter Baptist Street Church played an active role in the civil rights movement where Ralph David Abernathy Sr. used his pulpit to lead the call for economic justice and civil rights. I am proud to introduce the Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. National Historic Site Act so future generations can carry on his work. We must honor Reverend Abernathy’s legacy of activism by preserving West Hunter Street Baptist Church, the church he led during the civil rights movement. As conservatives across the country attempt to erase Black history altogether, preserving Black history has never been more urgent,” Williams said.

The money will go toward furnishing the sanctuary and offices as they were when Abernathy preached there and turning the site into a community space.

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