ORLANDO, Fla. — Black Bottom House of Prayer, a nearly 100-year-old church in Parramore, was already dealing with major damage because its roof collapsed when Hurricane Ian blew through and destroyed its bell tower.
The city wants it demolished because of safety concerns.
“This church, we’ve suffered many losses, but we’ve kept the faith,” Pastor Dana Jackson said.
It was going to be demolished in 2019 until Jackson walked by with her grandchildren and decided to buy the church as her grieving project using money from her son’s death.
Jackson was raising money to restore the church. Then the roof collapsed the morning after Orlando’s Historic Preservation Board approved its historic landmark application.
The church received a $500,000 African American culture grant to clean up and stabilize the structure, get a new roof and remove the bell tower.
Hurricane Ian knocked down the front of the church and damaged the bell tower beyond repair. Now the city wants it down immediately.
The bell tower is set to be removed on Friday. Jackson said in about two years the church could be completely restored.
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