Demolishing a Past
Early in November, news sources released reports about two demolition projects. The first one broke where I reside and involves a zoning request to tear down Tremont Temple Baptist Church, Macon, GA, to make room for a donut shop. Given the proximity of the Medical Center of Central Georgia, the addition of that kind of business will be a boondoggle for the owner and the city. The second report had far greater reverberations in the national press and comment sections of news outlets. The Atlanta Braves are leaving Turner Field, which was retrofitted for the team following the Summer Olympics in 1996. A day after the Braves leveled their surprise, Atlanta announced plans to demolish Turner Field to create more housing. In one of the reserved parking lots for Turner Field, fans walk across the painted remains of the old Fulton County Stadium. Progress means moving on and leaving behind traces of former glory.
The lesser known, but not necessarily less significant, story in Macon deserves some attention for religious historians. In the reports of the church demolition in Macon, there has been no mention of the church’s attempted move from the location in 1974. The Tremont Temple’s website explains the long-term effects of that failed move because of a protracted lawsuit brought by five church members. The physical location of the church building on Cotton Ave in downtown Macon allowed Reverend Elisha B. Pascal to situate the church as a “Movement Church.”