A historic Tulsa church hopes to complete major repairs this year through available grants if they can raise matching funds.
Vernon Chapel AME Church is notable for partially surviving the race massacre when all but the church basement burned. Church members immediately resumed services and rebuilt the church over several years.
In 2020, the National Trust for Historic Preservation offered a grant that's paying for an overhaul of the stained-glass windows. In 2021, the Fund for Sacred Places is offering $250,000 for structural repairs if Vernon AME can raise $500,000 locally.
"It just goes to show how much people across this country are wanting to see the rebuilding of Greenwood, and the restoration of this historic church," Vernon Chapel AME Church Rev. Dr. Robert Turner said.
The pastor said the money would be used to replace the roof on the sanctuary, Faith Hall and improve handicapped accessibility.
Dr. Turner said support for the effort is increasing as the centennial of the race massacre approaches.
A link to the church’s GoFundMe can be found here.