December 31st, 2010
03:28 PM ET

Historic Georgia church fights foreclosure

By Matt Pearl, WXIA

The oldest African-American church in DeKalb County no longer has a church.

Flat Rock Community Church originated 150 years ago. Now, one of its fifth-generation members says, "we're in limbo."

In November, the church broke away from the United Methodist denomination over a dispute over their property. In December, dealing with a dwindling membership, the church could no longer afford its $6500 mortgage.

Read the full story on the historic church's foreclosure fight on WXIA's site.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Economy • Georgia • United States

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Joseph Pearl

    Thanks for your blog. Very informative and a great benefit to my practice as a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Bakersfield California.

    Joseph Pearl
    Bakersfield Bankruptcy Attorney

    March 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  2. baton rouge foreclosures

    It has almost always been my opinion that it was the lack of government over sight of the mortgage/banking industry that caused the problem. For those that are calling for the breakup of fanny/Freddy, I think you are miss guided. Both Wall Street and the GSI’s were greedy, nothing more. Wall st via fees and the GSI’s via yield. Both have strong lobbyist arms which have deep and troubling influence. The public was, at the highest levels of government and wall st miss lead. This is not giving the public a pass on being stupid, but the piper played and everyone went along. You will never have a strong consumer advocate government while you have over whelming corporate lobbyist influence over our elected officials. To those of you who still subscribe to laissez-faire capitalism, until you control greed and ignorance, you will continue to doom us to these cycles of boom and bust. Ayn Rands mind set will continue to fail.It is a mess no doubt and with any luck our current government will make good decisions to do the “right” thing and teach people how to fish again so we can get out of this mess!!! They no doubt will hold the largest influence in the solution as it continues to unfold. I know one thing is for certain and that is to get informed and VOTE!!

    January 10, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  3. Mark from Middle River

    I do not know. Maybe the catholic church but I know too many churches that are expanding.

    Question, is this.... How does a church that is over a hundred years old still have a mortgage? Our church is over a hundred as well and we have expanded over three times and payed off the mortgages each time.

    I do believe many of my athiest friends here are claiming the victory of a small African American church that is in the same old building that they were in a century ago that exist in the same country that it appears Eddie Long's mega and growing church.

    It is funny.

    January 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  4. Your Average Atheist

    I've been wondering about churches amidst all of this foreclosure crisis. It is obvious to me, growing from childhood to adult, that church popularity and membership is declining. I came from a very Catholic family that went to church every Sunday and religious holiday. We would see everyone we knew from around town there. Now, as an adult, I know very very few people that go to church. The church's and priest's rockstar lifestyle has to end at some point. I feel bad for the decent, loving Christians that may be negatively affected by this .... but I am glad that society as a whole is getting smarter. I wish that I could see the world 100 years from now when the Vatican doesn't have so much world influence.

    January 2, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  5. Mark from Middle River

    It is interesting in what is a hope for you.

    I will leave with this. If what defines and is listed as a destruction of another group is what is hoped for,'then on what side of historical figures and groups does one find him or herself accounted with.

    January 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  6. JohnQuest

    Mark from Middle River, thanks for ruining what could have been the start of a great decade. In all seriousness, I agree, although overall church attendance is down even in the Black communities there is indications that mega-churches are growing. But on the upside there is every indication that they do not last as long as the smaller churches, there is still hope for us yet.

    January 1, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  7. Mark from Middle River

    "One down,only 1,000,000 more to go."

    Sorry, some folks just organized and built three new churches in my area alone. Wait, isn't Eddie Longs megachurch in that county?

    Sounds more like what is going on in a few of of our old church in our conference. You have to the traditional, down the country road "ole time" churches. My mothers home church down in the south you can still see whats left of the old out house at the forest edge. The floors are the same generations of my mothers side of the family had walked on since the late 1800's. Now take the draw of churches with more modern amenities, kids ministries and such things as simple as air conditioning, then these old churches are facing dwindling ministries from later generations. Many are wondering why would you go to worship in a building where you have to use a hand held fan in the 100 degree southern sun when one town over they are installing plasma flat screens and have parking lots so huge that they need air conditioned shuttles just to get the folks in.

    The funny thing is that the CNN blog writers might have seen this as article of dwindling church membership.... which would make atheist so happy for the new year.... Most of us in the African American community see this...while in some ways sad.... a very good thing. It means, my atheist friends, that its the sign of a growing African American middle class. We are building bigger and modern structures with our money and finally moving away from the church structures that our parents, grandparents and great great parents had to attend because it was all they could afford to maintain. One of my cousins down south, they built a new Mega type church but they keep and hold on to the property and structure of the historic church of their parents.

    So, the one down .... thats funny. One small old building down ... two or three bigger ones in their place ...... one down 1,000,003 to go 🙂

    January 1, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  8. JohnQuest

    One down,only 1,000,000 more to go.

    January 1, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  9. Gary

    Even though I am agnostic and find all religions exclusive and offensive. I know many churches do reach out to communities in many ways. I hope the church in financial trouble if they mean well recover financially .

    December 31, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  10. David Johnson

    Hmmm... Foreclosure you say? What a wonderful way to start the New Year!

    May there be plenty more where this came from!

    Cheers to all!

    December 31, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  11. Reality

    Once a day WARNING for new commentators:

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

    December 31, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • Your Average Atheist

      It depends upon how you use words like fuck or tit. If you use them in a vulgar way, they will be deleted.

      January 2, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  12. HotAirAce

    Believers tell me god works in mysterious ways. Maybe this is his way of telling his sheep that the gig's over, time to shut religion down...

    December 31, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HAA

      Don't they teach any business courses at good ol' Whatsamatter U? Churches, like any good business, are born, live and die. Nothing in our world is immortal. Doesn't mean that faith is dying any more than business is going extinct just because one corner store goes bankrupt.

      December 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Prey

      You are applying logic which is not usually done in relation to religion. I was trying to get into the religious fervor with mystery and non-logic. Just opening my heart to all the supernatural beings out there.

      December 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HAA

      Oh, OK... well then, "fervor" away !

      Happy New Year to you, Ace. Be safe.

      December 31, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.