IRONTON, OH (WOWK) – An old historical Black Church in Ohio is in jeopardy. The city has started a new housing development project which could possibly run the church out.

Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest historical black churches in Ohio, and it was built in 1865. Community members say they’re not letting it go without a fight.

Old black and white photos of Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church show a strong black congregation, one that could last ages. But now, this strong black church could be no more if something isn’t done.

“We feel we’ve been shunned out, wasn’t really informed on what’s going on,” Hugh Scott, Deacon said.

The City of Ironton and Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization are building multi-family homes around the church’s property as part of affordable housing. The problem is this church has an old parson’s house it uses for storage in the back of the property. Now, the city has started handing out fees regarding this house, saying this property is an eye-sore to the new neighbors and needs to be fixed up.

“We are in the process of renovating the house, but the letter stated that if we did not do it we already have been fined $200 because of the condition that they say it was in, and they said each year if we did not do anything with it that it would double,” Richard L. Carter, Pastor said.

All those added-up fees could lead to the city taking the property. The goal is to make sure the church remains in the community.

“If it wasn’t for us addressing this our historical church here, this church could possibly lose its foundation and they can move it out and what else to we have to recognize my heritage, my legacy,” Scott said.  

Members hope they can get some help in order to keep the church and the parson’s house for years to come.