Energy firm seeks OK to demolish historic black church


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — One of the nation’s largest energy companies is seeking permission to tear down a historic black church in east Georgia.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that Atlanta-based Southern Co. has again applied to demolish the former Trinity CME Church in Augusta.

The newspaper reports the church was built by former slaves in the 1890s, and is considered the birthplace of the Christian Methodist Episcopal denomination.

The church has stood vacant since the 1990s, when Atlanta Gas Light settled with the congregation and began removing tons of soil contaminated by a nearby gas plant that operated from 1852 to 1955.

Southern Co., now the owner of Atlanta Gas Light, is making at least a third effort to demolish the church.

The utility company’s plans go before the Historic Preservation Commission late Thursday.

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