If you have traveled past St. James AME Church at 44 Hildebrand Street recently, you may have noticed the scaffolding and fencing surrounding the building.
These barriers were erected to safeguard parishioners and visitors as we begin our urgently needed restoration project. How would you like to partner with us in supporting the renovation of this major historical meeting place in our community? Here is your opportunity to become a part of this exciting endeavor. We invite you to join a wave of supporters who recognize and appreciate that St. James AME Church has been opening its doors for worship and to countless organizations and community events since its inception in 1887.
In addition to worship services, St. James has been a meeting place for a variety of organizations including, but not limited to The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Asheville and Buncombe County; the Asheville City Schools Bullying Program; Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement; National Alliance for Mental Illness; Gamma Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Daily Kos; the Youth STEM Program; the Rosa Walker Advancement Initiative; and the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association.
Due to our restoration needs, this year marked the first time ever that St. James AME Church was unable to host the ceremonial start of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace March and Rally. Our needs forestall being able to use our sanctuary to host other ministerial, community, and city-wide events.
We can provide you with information on how you can donate toward our mission to continue providing a hospitable, friendly, and diverse place for people to gather for worship and community events, but first let’s give you a brief look on the history of St. James.
The church had its humble beginning in 1887 in an old abandoned streetcar barn on Biltmore Avenue, when a band of church-goers established Levy’s Chapel. Two years later they joined the ranks of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and changed the name to St. James A.M.E. The congregation moved to a building on the corner of Hildebrand Street and what would later become MLK Boulevard. The current St. James sanctuary was completed in 1930 by James Vester Miller, a former slave who had built other churches and commercial buildings in the Asheville area. The Haith Educational wing was added in 1983.
Now, 131 years later, this beautiful, historic church is in urgent need of repair and restoration. The sanctuary has reached a critical point, where vital steps must be undertaken to preserve it as a safe and viable meeting venue.
What changes will be made in our building?
Our goal is to raise funds through our capital campaign sufficient to repair the aging roof, replace and repair deteriorating masonry on the exterior walls, and restore the flooring in the sanctuary to its former glory. By doing so, our church may continue to serve our communities and the City of Asheville in a proper and hospitable setting.
What will the project cost?
As you may imagine, a project of this undertaking can be costly. Engineers have estimated that the total cost of this project will be close to $571,000.
Target Start Date: Early 2020
We would love for you to consider donating to the ST. James A.M.E. Restoration Project. We welcome donations of all amounts and we thank you in advance. All donations are tax deductible.
Ways To Donate
- On our GoFundMe page: St. James AME Church Restoration, Asheville, NC.
- Via our website at stjames-asheville.org and clicking on the “Restoration” link.
- By mailed check or money order to St. James AME Church, 44 Hildebrand St. Asheville, NC 28801.
About St. James
Our mission at St. James A.M.E. is “To know God and to make God known through making Christian disciples and advancing programs that minister to the needs of the whole person and greater community: Spirit mind and body.”
We are “Saving souls, Changing Lives, Impacting Communities, and Educating and Motivating to Excellence…” With your donations to the St. James AME Church Restoration Project, you can make a difference and help St. James AME continue to be a beacon of God’s love now and for future generations.
According to Matthew 17:20: Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Here at St. James we have faith and believe that this mountain can be reduced to a plateau. All it takes is a simple click.
On behalf of our pastor, the officers and members of this great church, thank you for your time and for the consideration of giving to the St. James AME Restoration Project.
We thank you. The best is yet to come.