Seven years after burning down, an African American church has reopened in Portland

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 12:24 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – An African American church is being restored today, just in time for the last day of Black History Month.

The 100-year-old church burned down in February 2015 and now, after years of construction, it’s finally reopening.

Congregation members sang the Black National Anthem proudly inside of the Allen Temple CME Church.

“This day is just a miracle,” said Reverend Leroy Haynes Junior, a senior pastor. “It builds hope to other predominant African American churches that this truly can be done.”

Back in February 2015, two electrical fires caused major damage to the church’s roof and interior. In the process of rebuilding, the church hit construction barriers. With the pandemic, major financial setbacks came too on a project costing $3 million in construction upgrades alone.

“As we went into construction, we realized there was a lot more we had to do to restore it to code and so we went through fundraising efforts,” Haynes Junior said.

Seven years later, the church is finally complete.

Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and congregation members were all in attendance for the Monday grand opening.

Church attendees could hardly believe the upgraded space was the same as the century-old building they sat in years ago.

“We’ve had all these wonderful additions to a hundred-year-old building and it’s just beautiful,” said Regin Green, who Attends Allen Temple CME Church. “We’re just so happy that we’re able to get back in here,”

For details on future events visit the Allen Temple CME Church website.