Despite rain, protesters show support for Midtown Memphis church - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Despite rain, protesters show support for Midtown Memphis church

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Heavy rain did not stop a group of protesters from demonstrating outside a Midtown Memphis church Saturday.

Members of the Midtown Action Coalition gathered to protest outside Union Avenue United Methodist Church.

"There was a good buyer for the church," said protester Margo Mueller, "and then CVS stepped in and offered more than the church could."

Protesters said they do not want a pharmacy to demolish the historic building across from Ike's Discount Pharmacy.

"Our attorneys are arguing that the 1912 deed, which has a clause that says the church is only to be used as a place of divine worship, is valid," said Gordon Alexander with Midtown Action Coalition.

They were also upset about the design.

"CVS is just going to put up a big box building," said Mueller.  "They're not even going to comply with the Midtown overlay."

The overlay law requires a new construction to blend in with the historic look of Midtown Memphis, but it has fallen on deaf ears.

"They could care less what happens to the neighborhood," said Alexander.

Protesters said they hope their day in the rain was worth it and they can gather community support.

"I think unless people actually get out in the street and show everyone involved where they stand on an issue, projects like this will go on and steamroll everything in its path," said Alexander.

The case will be heard Thursday in Chancery Court.

Action News 5 called CVS for a response, but they did not return our calls.

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