Abernathy on new stadium: "You're going to disrupt two churches"

7:49 PM, Apr 22, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA, Ga. -- An issue brewing between two historic churches and the new Falcons stadium garnered national attention on Monday due to a comment from one of the most recognizable names in civil rights history: Abernathy. 

"You're going to disrupt two churches, two houses of worship and prayer, for someone to play ball? It doesn't make sense" 

The quote in the NYTimes reignited a debate between two churches: Friendship Baptist and Mount Vernon Baptist, and the new proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium. 

On Monday afternoon, 11Alive News sat down with the chairman of the Board of Trustees at Friendship Baptist Church and he was empathetic to her concerns. 

"Anytime you have any causes for disruption for any institution, it could be a stadium, a road widening, it could be any type of development, disruption is going to be something that no one looks forward to," Chairman Lloyd Hawk said. 

The 150-year-old church has, both, directly and indirectly served as a "beacon" in the Atlanta area and the global community by being the birthplace of two colleges: Morehouse and Spelman. 

And not to mention, the church was oftentimes a meeting place during the Civil Right Movement in the South. Hawk says the church was founded by slaves.  

Although the church has yet to receive a concrete offer from the Falcons organization, Hawk sees the move as an opportunity to do more in the community.

According to Hawk, "we look at this whole situation as an opportunity for the church to grow, I'm not talking physically -- I'm talking spiritually."  

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