Updated: Aug 18
The Meridian Architectural Trust is continuing its efforts to bring awareness to the need to preserve historical buildings in Meridian.
The St. Joseph's Catholic Church is one of many buildings in Meridian that the trust is working to add to the historic register.
"I'm in the process of trying to get St. Joseph's Church on the National Register of Historic Places," explained guest speaker Ida Tomlin. "That is the reason that I got to know the Meridian Trust. As we talked about different things, we realized that St. Joseph is very historical, primarily because James Chaney went to school here when there was a school and also was a member of the church.
Many historic buildings have already been torn down, and the trust hopes that through these meetings, they can prevent the destruction of the other buildings.
"Our mission is "Saving Meridian Stories," one building at a time. So, this is actually a perfect segue way into our mission because we are talking about Saint Joseph Catholic Church as well as the Saint Joseph School that used to be here, which was specifically for the black community during the segregation period", stated chairwoman Tracy Towner. "You will note that the church is here, but the school is not here. So, that highlights the importance of saving the building because it is great to talk about and tell the story; but it helps so much if you can see the school."
Tomlin believes that preserving historic buildings like St. Joseph's will essentially benefit the youth:
"It is so important especially for our children, for our young people to understand what their ancestors, so to speak, went through back in the day. A church is something that really should last forever. We are trying our best to ensure that this church is recognized as such and will be here for a long, long time. It's 120 years old, St Joseph's Chapel School and Parish. So, we want it to be around for a hundred more years."
Meridian Architectural Trust will have more meetings to continue to work to preserve historic buildings in Meridian.