Group Works To Restore Church Ahead Of 200th Anniversary

Apr 16, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine nonprofit is working to restore a historic African-American church building ahead of its 200th anniversary.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports the Abyssinian Meeting House in Portland is the third-oldest church building in the U.S. built by a black congregation. The building dates back to 1828 and it saw visitors such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.

A plaque outside the Abyssinian Meeting House, seen in June of 2013, explains the origins of the historic church.
Credit Ed Morin / Maine Public/file

The Committee to Restore the Abyssinian is now working to raise $1.5 million to transform the building into a history center.
 
Portland City Manager Jon Jennings recently gave the committee $35,000 to help match grant funding. He says the building is "one of the greatest components of our history.''
 
Jennings and the committee say they plan to reach out to the business committee for a final push in support.