140-year-old Concord church trying to hold off foreclosure

Updated: Jan. 9, 2020 at 4:45 PM EST
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - A church in Concord that has been part of the community for 140 years is praying for a miracle that it doesn’t have to now close its doors. The Rock Hill AME Zion Church owes a mortgage company more than $1 million, and is in imminent danger of foreclosure.

“This right here is going to teach us a lesson to move forward on helping people," said church trustee Robert Scott.

Founded in 1880…the church cemetery has burials from that period…and the church is still relevant to the community today. Last Saturday, members of the Rock Hill Church cooked the meal for the family of a 13-year-old shooting victim following her funeral.

“This is a church that has been here for a long, long time, and I think we’ve got a lot more things to do," Scott added.

To do those good works, they made need a miracle. The church owes more than $1.4 million and, as of Monday of this week, the court gave the mortgage company the right to foreclose.

A series of bad financial decisions several years ago put the church behind, leaders say, and the mortgage was sold to another company.

“We’re looking at anywhere from 3-4 months, they’ll put the sign up, they’ll foreclose on the church, they’ll put a bid out, we could match the bid they give us so many days and once everything is finalized and they haven’t sold the church they give us 10-15 days and the church is padlocked and we’re out of here," Scott said.

Church leaders have been busy writing to philanthropic organizations and individuals in hopes of raising the money that is needed to keep the doors open. A fund raising page has been set up here:

“We got a great opportunity to raise some money, put X amount of money on the table to see can we get the church back. We’ve been here 140 years, I won’t see the next 140, but I want to see most of the next 140, so that’s where we’re at," Scott added.

WBTV attempted unsuccessfully to contact American First Federal Mortgage.

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