SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - A Selma church got some good news this week that feels like it was Heaven-sent.
Tabernacle Baptist Church played a vital role in the Civil Rights movement. It’s the same church that held the first mass meeting in the movement. The 98-year-old facility is in good shape overall, but it’s beginning to show signs of wear and tear from a century of use.
This week, parishioners learned their beloved church will receive $539,000 in grants, made possible through the National Park Service.
“We’re very excited and grateful to God. There are couple of issues we have here I would say would definitely be a priority," said Pastor Otis D. Culliver. “One is wiring because of the age of the building, and also there is some flooding that happens in the basement because of springs that run underneath this building."
The church’s pastor said a portion of the money will also go toward telling the story of the women, Selma in particular both black and white, who "have done a great job, often times in anonymity, moving our culture, our city and country forward.”
The money is part of a $14 million package that Congress passed last year for the African-American Civil Rights Historic Preservation Fund. The overall fund is enough for 51 projects across 20 states.
Culliver said it’s not yet clear when the church will receive the restoration funds.