CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston landmark Emanuel A.M.E. Church, also the oldest of its kind in the South, is recognized among the historically significant buildings in the city, but is in need of a major upgrade.
The A.M.E. church, which sits at 110 Calhoun Street, is built more than 13 feet from the ground and doesn't have an elevator.
For the last two years, members of the church have rallied nearly $250,000 in donations, but are short $25,000 of their goal, facing a projected January construction start date.
Church pastor, and South Carolina Senator Clementa Pinckney said the elevator will not only serve Emanuel's congregation of 500, but many more throughout the city of Charleston.
"Emanuel's history is tied with the city of Charleston," he said. "This is where Martin Luther King would come when he was in Charleston."
Wednesday, city Mayor Joe Riley stood outside the church steps in support. For years, Emanuel A.M.E. Church has also welcomed city events, such as MOJA and Piccolo Spoleto.
Donations are being accepted through the church website at
, or by check mailed to Emanuel A.M.E. Church at 110 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC.