The former Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church has been moved to its new location across Taylor Street thanks to the Augusta Canal Authority and Hercules House Movers, Inc. Historic Augusta’s staff and members of the community joined the Canal Authority and the Trinity CME congregation on June 13 to witness the initial stages on the move. Although the relocation is now complete, the structure will remain on the dollies until the foundation has cured.
Historic Augusta’s members may remember that Trinity received a stay of execution from the Augusta Historic Preservation Commission at its July meeting last year, when a request for demolition by Atlanta Gas Light Company was denied. Trinity is considered the “Mother” church of the C.M.E. denomination, having been established in 1840 by African American members of the present-day Saint John United Methodist Church. Located at the northeast corner of 8th and Taylor Streets the ground underneath was contaminated by a gas manufacturing plant that was established across the street in 1852. After several failed attempts to mitigate the environmental problems in other ways, AGL remained under orders from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to remediate the soil under building.
The Augusta Canal Authority spearheaded the campaign over the past year to find a solution, forming a steering committee with Historic Augusta, Inc. and other interested parties. Moving the structure to a nearby lot adjacent to the canal’s third level was a win for both preservationists and environmentalists, as the building will be preserved while also allowing AGL to remediate the contaminated soil in its former location. Proposed future uses include a community center, arts venue, or trail head.