It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the future of a historic church in his old Atlanta neighborhood of Vine City is up in the air. BB&T bank allegedly wants to foreclose on the church, but a last minute protest from Occupy Atlanta delayed things until the two sides could agree on another payment plan.
Higher Ground Empowerment Center, a staple in the community for the past 108 years, has been fighting to keep members and scrape together money to fix the damage left by a 2008 tornado. The church took out a loan with the bank to fund the repairs, but has recently fallen behind with payments due to decreased membership. The church has attempted to rework the loan, but claims BB&T won't budge.
So, why's the bank being so stubborn? Rebuild the Dream believes it's because the church is sitting on a piece of land that the bank knows it can flip for a large sum of money. However, BB&T's President of Communications David R. White released a statement refuting the church's claims.
Let White tell it, not only has BB&T been working since March of 2008 to reach an agreement with the church, they also claim to have no plans of eviction. He added that the church didn't have a mortgage with BB&T (they were leasing the property) so they couldn't foreclose, but was adamant about both sides reaching an agreement early this week.
We'll see about that, but the bank had to know that evicting the church near the holiday would be PR suicide. Regardless, an agreement being reached is far more important than which side is right, because losing Higher Ground Empowerment Center would devastate this community.