MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A dilapidated church is finally being removed from the heart of Frayser.
City contractors got to work demolishing Victory Tabernacle Church on Monday.
Neighbors said the abandoned church was a haven for crime and a symbol of hopelessness in their community.
After four years of legal wrangling, Shelby County Environmental Court gave Memphis the green light to get rid of it.
"At first, in order for you to build up, first you gotta tear some stuff down," Pastor Ricky Floyd said. "So the fact this building is being torn down, it's creating an environment for us to build and do some fresh new, creative and innovative things."
After the building is gone, the property goes into foreclosure and will be auctioned off.
There are more than 8,500 blighted properties in Memphis. Last year, the city tore down about 500 of them.