Brown Chapel AME Church Service - Selma, AL - March 1, 2020
Brown Chapel AME Church Service - Selma, AL - March 1, 2020

Selma’s Historic Brown Chapel AME Church has been a symbol of hope and perseverance since it opened its doors in 1907. Back in May, the church announced plans to restore the 114-year old building and make the necessary repairs for it to serve its congregation for years to come. Since then, the amount of money needed for restoration has risen drastically–what was estimated to be $2 million is now closer to $7 million. Here’s what we know about the costly effort to restore Selma’s historic church.

Why So Much?

The original estimation of $2 million came from a federal grant obtained in 2021. However, after work began on restoring the church, a severe storm revealed various sources of damage that had not been predicted. Water damage and termites had weakened several of the most critical beams in the building, adding an additional $5 million dollars worth of repairs to the project. The additional costs will go towards replacing these beams and making sure that they are sufficiently reinforced against future elements.

What Now?

The Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society has already raised nearly half of the funds needed for restoration through private donations and fundraising initiatives. Beyond that, they are looking into other ways they can secure funding, including seeking out additional grants from both public and private sources as well as potential sponsorships from corporations or other organizations who may be interested in helping preserve this piece of history.

Selma’s Historic Brown Chapel AME Church is so much more than just a building; it is a symbol of hope and resilience that has stood strong for over 100 years despite many adversities. As such, it is essential that we do whatever we can to ensure that it remains standing for many years to come. Whether you are able to donate money or time or simply help spread awareness about their efforts through word-of-mouth, any assistance is greatly appreciated by all involved with this important preservation project!