Group Fights to Save Historic Former Amherst Baptist Church - - ABC13

Group Fights to Save Historic Former Amherst Baptist Church


Amherst, VA - A volunteer group in Amherst County is fighting to save a historic Amherst church they've been using as a community center.

The Amherst County Board of Supervisors has allowed the group to use the parking lot this summer, which has become home to their popular farmer's market.

However, the group is afraid if they don't act fast it will be the beginning of the end of this new community tradition.

The building has been sitting at 134 Second Street for more than 100 years. Over the past year, Second Stage Amherst has used the historic building to hold a number of community events and farmer's markets.

In February the group requested to use the facility for another 5 years. The following month board member John Marks motioned to demolish the building.

"We at Second Stage think it is a real shame to do that with a historic building with wonderful acoustics inside" said Second Stage volunteer Ned Kable.

Board member Claudia Tucker made a subsequent motion to sell the property instead. "The motion did take us by surprise we were in dialogue regarding second stage and whether or not they would be allowed to continue their activities in the building" explained Tucker.

Tucker says a building inspector has checked out the church's structure, "he said it was his professional opinion that while the building has its challenges it is by no means structurally deficient" said Tucker.

The board is now considering both how much it would cost to demolish the building and also how much the building is worth.

In the meantime, Second Stage has been raising money to buy the property  if it goes on sale.

We are asking people for money. If anyone wants to contribute money to this cause and help buy the building we would love to hear from you" said Kable.

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