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Macon: Steward Chapel A.M.E. Church begins revival

Steward Chapel A.M.E. Church began its revival on Sunday, October 16th / Emily Swecker (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Steward Chapel A.M.E. Church has been a Beacon of light in Macon for more than 150 years.

Now, the historic church is beginning a revival, starting with welcoming its new pastor, Reverend Levornia Franklin Junior.

"We're in the gateway of the city. We're one of the mother churches of the city. Therefore, it not only is a legacy, but it's great history, great history. This is the first black-owned and operated church in our city and it still is and we are thankful for it so that's the reason why we're here to tell Macon that we're still alive, we're vibrant and this is the place where new life begins.", said Rev. Franklin.

Wanda West has been a member of Steward Chapel for more than 40 years.

She hopes the revival will bring new life to the church.

"We are hoping that it is the kickoff for more programs, more impact, that it is in fact a way to embrace the community in a way that many will want to come here and serve God.", said West.

Since opening its doors in 1865, the church has fought for religious and social freedom and played host to Martin Luther King Jr. as he delivered his famous speech, "There is No East and No West".

It is one of the mother churches of Downtown Macon and is continuing to celebrate its history while empowering its future.

"That would mean that we have been a catalyst for the community and we still are. We're still doing some of the things we did back then, but now we're asking people to come and see what's new in downtown.", said Rev. Franklin.

West, along with other members of Steward Chapel, have one prayer for the future of their church.

"To continue 150-plus years of legacy," said West.

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This story first aired on October 16th, 2016.

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