Monday is the day the Macon Planning and Zoning Commission will decide whether to issue a permit to demolish Tremont Temple Baptist Church, a century old church across from the Medical Center of Central Georgia in downtown Macon. The much talked about church was the place where Macon's civil rights-era bus boycott was largely organized out of.
The congregation needs the money from the sale. But the buyer only wants the property if it comes with a demolition permit. Last month, the Planning and Zoning Commission delayed granting the permit, pending an opinion from the Design Review Board. That board met last week and voted unanimously against the demolition. But they can only recommend.
Planning and Zoning executive director Jim Thomas told WMAZ-TV they felt like they had to see the big picture. “The neighborhood itself is made up of many structures and if we allow demolition one at a time than over a period of time you really do harm to the neighborhood, he said.”
Josh Rogers of the Historic Macon Foundation has been working to save the church. His group's online pledge campaign has received financial support of almost $8,000 so far. But it’s not enough, he says. “We’re really going to need a lot of public support to show up at that meeting and voice their desire to keep the building if we’re going to save it.”
Monday’s Planning and Zoning commissioners will vote at Macon’s City Hall. Their meeting starts at 1:30pm.