Fight to save another Midtown church building ramps up

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Any church building as old as Union Avenue United Methodist is bound to spark memories for many people.

Dick and Joyce Hall are no exception.  They were married inside the sanctuary 63 years ago.

"I want it to stay a church," said Joyce Hall.  "I don't care what denomination.  I would like for people to be able to worship God there."

The Halls were among a few dozen people who gathered at Memphis Heritage headquarters Thursday night to reaffirm a commitment to try and preserve the building.  It is in danger of the wrecking ball to make way for a CVS Pharmacy.

"Regardless of what nice type of development they want to do, we don't feel the church needs to come down," said June West of Memphis Heritage.  "That's the real issue right now."

Adding urgency is an official application just filed with the city's planning office.  It includes a preliminary site plan showing the building and a typical parking lot.

There is also a letter that reads, in part, that the will be removed for redevelopment.

A representative for the developer showed up at the meeting and told us there would be no way to preserve the building as part of the plan.

"No there's not," said Cindy Reaves, "and that church is beyond repair."

She said the church's dwindling congregation could not longer afford upkeep of the aging structure.  Members have already been absorbed into another church.

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