Congressman Johnson announces federal funds to help renovate historic Atlanta church
Johnson helps West Hunter Street Church receive grant for renovation efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) today announced the historic West Hunter Street Church in Atlanta has received a National Park Service grant to help preserve, repair and renovate the spiritual home of the Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy and a place crucial to the Civil Rights Movement.
The National Park Service (NPS) announced more than $450,000 will go the church that during the Civil Rights Movement served as a headquarters for many Civil Rights workers and organizers.
“The history of the Civil Rights Movement is a lesson in democratic ideals,” said Johnson. “It is a testimony to the strength of our Constitution, and to the courage of our people. We deeply believe that it is our duty to preserve these landmarks and to share their significance with future generations.”
The West Hunter Street Church was the site of many important leadership meetings and doubled as a school for nonviolent protest during initiatives such as the Voter Education Project and the Freedom Summer of 1964. It was also a spiritual refuge for the countless men and women who devoted their lives to the cause.
The federal funds for West Hunter are part of more than $7.5 million in grants that went to 39 projects in more than 20 states that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African-American experience.
Congress appropriated funding for the new NPS African American Civil Rights Grant Program in 2016 through the Historic Preservation Fund. Rep. Johnson’s office provided a letter of support for the Ralph David Abernathy III Foundation, which will received the funds for preservation.