The Mount Zion Baptist Church in Athens receives two grants to help preserve its history

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society has received $25,000 to support preservation efforts at the historic church in Athens.

One grant for $10,000 from the Foundation for Appalachia’s African American Community Fund will be used for basement work in the 118-year-old structure, according to a press release from the organization.

Another for $15,000 from the Ohio Humanities, will be used for a display of murals depicting the church’s history that will be painted on the 14 plywood inserts temporarily replacing the stained-glass windows.

A wide shot showcases the architectural beauty of the historical Mount Zion Baptist Church. A truck is seen in front, with three pews from the church.
The historic building with a truck in front of it with three pews on July 1, 2023, in Athens. [Ahmed Hamed | WOUB]
The windows were removed in September for re-leading and other repairs by the preservationists Nzilani Glass of Oakland, California, and Blind Eye Restoration of Columbus.

“These grant awards will enable us to restore and revitalize this historic landmark, and to create a space where Black artists, entrepreneurs, and community members can come together and celebrate their culture and heritage,” said Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society President Ada-Woodson Adams.

The Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society, doing business as the Mount Zion Black Culture Center, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the historic Mount Zion church as a regional hub for promoting Black arts, culture and business development in the Athens community.