Rev. Byron E. Hodges is reaching out to Historic City News readers at a time he says his historic church, St Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church, constructed in 1920, is in jeopardy of foreclosure unless they can meet their goal to raise $50,000 before February 13.
On June 9, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood inside the gothic building, located at 69 Washington Street in Lincolnville, and told 500 supporters that the following day, he would participate in a sit-in at a local restaurant that would likely lead to his arrest.
In September 2006, the church was granted a $172,500 mortgage to be used for restoration of the building. When the recession hit in 2008, the church couldn’t make its payments; and, on April 16, 2010, the lender, First Federal Bank of North Florida, was closed by the Office of Thrift Supervision.
As the appointed receiver, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sold the loan to TD Bank, NA; and, with past due payments and interest, the church now owes about $211,000 and the bank has given notice that they are prepared to foreclose.
Hodges says the church is not close to raising that $50,000 but the congregation remains optimistic and continues to reach out to the community for financial assistance. “Every penny that comes toward this purpose will go to helping get this church back on solid ground,” Pastor Hodges told reporters.
If you would like to donate, you can send donations to the church’s Building Fund directly at 69 Washington Street in St. Augustine, FL 32084.