Midtown church being demolished amid continued protest

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - While work was underway to rehab a vacant filling station, the old Union Avenue United Methodist Church across the street finally met a wrecking ball Thursday.

The longtime landmark on one corner of Union and Cooper will soon be history.

"Very sad sad situation," said June West of Memphis Heritage.

She and a handful of others held another rally late Thursday with a shift in focus from actually saving the church building.

"It's a lost cause now," said Gregory Alexander of the Midtown Action Coalition.  "But we want to make sure people think long and hard before shopping here."

The church will be replaced by a CVS Pharmacy, which bought the property from a dwindling congregation.  Company executives now adorn an unflattering flyer being circulated by opponents.

"They never returned a phone call, never answered our E-mail, and never responded to any of our concerns," said West.

A local demolition company is making steady progress in preparing the site for construction and told Action News 5 destruction of the gutted sanctuary will be the final step.

"I think the vast majority of the people in this neighborhood are opposed to it," said photographer Matt Ducklo who stopped by a take a few final shots.

"A few final shots before the (expletives) at CVS tear down and put up and disposal piece of architecture," he added.

It's a project that will continue to attract controversy long after the building is gone.

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