Butler Chapel marks 139th year with with #036;20K renovation project goal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 25, 2006

One of the city's oldest churches is celebrating a milestone this weekend. The Butler Chapel AME Zion Church, located at 347 Oglesby St., is marking its 139th anniversary this Sunday, March 26.

A service is slated for 2:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

&#8220Bishop James McCoy, who presides over the Alabama-Florida Episcopal District, will be our speaker for the service,” Ruby Shambray, chairperson for the anniversary celebration said.

&#8220We will also be sharing a history of our church and recognize the past leaders of our church, including Rev. James E. Cook, who served as our church pastor for 40 years.”

Music for the service will be provided by the James E. Cook Mass Choir, with a time of food and fellowship to follow, Shambray said.

The congregation will not only be looking back at its past history on Sunday; it will also be looking forward to the future of the church.

&#8220We need a complete overhaul of the church building, which is also 139 years old. We have only done work on the structure twice before, and that was basically to add on the existing church,” Shambray said.

Butler Chapel has launched a renovation project, with an initial goal of $20,000. The church has already raised some funds through a souvenir journal put together for the anniversary celebration, but much more help is needed, Shambray said.

&#8220We appreciate everyone who can assist us in this renovation project.”

Shambray encourages the members of Butler Chapel and their family and friends to join them for their anniversary celebration tomorrow.

&#8220The fellowship we share is always good, and it makes the food taste even better,” Shambray said with a smile.

For more information, contact Butler Chapel AME Zion Pastor, Rev. Harold O. Simpson, at 281-0507 or Ruby Shambray at 382-8890.