In 1928, a Black congregation in Cincinnati bought a German Gothic brick structure originally built in 1865 as a synagogue. Revelation Missionary Baptist Church, as they called it, was later led by the civil rights leader Fred L. Shuttlesworth and welcomed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when he visited.

The congregation updated the building with a modern addition in the 1970s, giving the church an aesthetic that came to symbolize Black progress in urban centers in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement. But in 2019, that alteration was cited as a reason the church could not receive a designation as a historic site, paving the way for the building to be torn down in 2019 to help make way for a soccer stadium.

The destruction deeply hurt Jerald Cooper, 39, who grew up in Cincinnati and still lives near the site of the church. “The modern addition was everything to me,” he said.” It was the best indoor-outdoor to me in the little courtyard. It was a safe place. It was our event center. It was where all my memories live.”

Written by Matt Shaw.

View the full article here. In print Sunday, January 15, 2023.

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