EDITORIAL: Saving local history

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 21, 2023

On a hill in Burlington is one of the most historic buildings in the county, but it has been in dire need of preservation.

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church was the first Black church in Ohio and the first west of the Appalachian Mountains.

It was built in 1849 by those freed from slavery and is an integral part of the Black history of not just Lawrence County, but the nation.

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In recent years, many have become concerned that the century and half old structure is in danger of collapse.

But, fortunately, in the last year, major strides have been made to secure its future.

This week, it was announced that the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is awarding a $100,000 grant toward its preservation.

This follows last year, when a Jeffris Heartland Fund grant of $12,450 was awarded to fund a historic structure report to assess what is needed to restore the church.

And last summer, through the capital improvement bill, Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a capital improvement bill that included $100,000 toward the church.

We hope these funds will be put to good and expedited use.

The history of the church is irreplaceable and it is imperative that our county works to preserve it.

We are thankful for all who have stepped up to help in this effort.