Members of a historic Black church hit hard by flooding in 2019 will kick off a major renovation project this weekend.
Members of Scotland AME Zion Church have wanted to restore the church founded in 1924 off Seven Locks Road in Potomac for decades, but their blessings have been blocked by hurdle after hurdle.
They thought it might be the end in 2019, church member Ken Cummins said.
“It’s like a miracle, it’s like a miracle,” he said. “I thought we were done.”
A flood wiped out the foundation and left the building unusable for services. But three years later, the congregation is raising enough money to start the second century project, restoring the historic church and building a new worship facility on site.
“And that church is on the Maryland historical registry site, so it cannot be torn down,” Cummins said. “It cannot be thrown away. It has to be preserved. Going to move it over onto the parking lot, do all this landscaping, fill in the basement, raise the ground up 4 feet so it’s above Seven Locks here.”
Saturday marks the official groundbreaking and the official public push to raise money to complete the $9 million project.
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Those familiar with the construction say they’ve raised about $1 million through grants, public funding and private donations.
That money went into design, planning and clearing red tape to get started.
For Latisha Gasaway and other longtime members, the 18-month project is personal.
“We didn’t know what our steps were going to be, but our steps are ordered, so that’s why I feel like three years later, we're standing strong, and praise God for groundbreaking day,” she said.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, and since there won’t be parking onsite, the church will have shuttles running from Bells Mills Elementary School.
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