Designs underway for new AME church destroyed by fire in July

Published: Aug. 24, 2015 at 4:27 PM EDT
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Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Design plans are underway for the new Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal church in Greeleyville.

Reverend John Taylor said Monday, the former church has been demolished and the land is cleared following the tragic fire that destroyed the building overnight on June 30.

Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said the cause of the fire that destroyed the church was natural in nature.

SLED investigators said there was no indication of criminal intent at the traditionally black church on Mackey Road in Greeleyville.

"Based upon the scene examination, the fire debris analysis, witness statements and a lightning strike report, the cause of the fire was best classified as natural," read a statement by SLED. "Investigators observed no indicator of criminal intent. The investigation is complete."

Taylor said it's unknown when construction would begin for the new church.

Right now the congregation is holding worship at an off-site location every week.

Taylor said the congregation remains in good spirits, and many are excited for the new church.

Following the fire that lasted into the early morning of July 1, a member of the church said this was the second fire at the church since 1995, when the KKK set fire to the old building.

At that time authorities said the fire at Mt. Zion AME was the seventh church fire in the South since the downtown Charleston church shooting which took the lives of nine people.

A fund is set up at First Citizens Bank to help with the rebuilding costs.

Atlanta based hip hop artist, Wooh Da Kid pledged to help with the rebuilding of Mt. Zion AME and many of the other churches across the south.

Wooh Da Kid and several other artists attended worship service in early July following the fire.

Taylor said he has not heard from the artist or his publicist since then.

A phone call and email from the artists' publicist were not immediately returned.

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