Kansas City

“Harlem” neighborhood devastated after arson damages church – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-09-19 19:42:40 –

Kansas City, Missouri — Community members in the “Harlem” district of Kansas City, Missouri The arson incident destroyed many of their home churches Saturday morning.

The underlying church has stood on Baltimore Avenue as the center of social life for the congregation since 1907.

“This is the last original building from this community, without which part of its history wouldn’t remain,” said Jason Wisington, who grew up in church.

The history of the region dates back to the first Dutch settlers. They called it a “harem.” It reminded them of their hometown.

Today, only about 150 people live, but there was a time when there were more than 1,000 residents, schools, gas stations, grocery stores, and post offices.

“And in 1951 there was a flood that wiped out most of the rest of the community. Schools were relocated and Kansas City was annexed. Everyone left.”

What remains in their history has been preserved through stories told by church elders. Withington remembers organist Betty Lou Inling. His children grew up with his father. Inling died after being diagnosed with cancer in 2004.

“She kept me sharing the history of the harem and promised people not to forget it,” said Withington.

Steven Yingling, Yingling’s living son, says he is honored to preserve the heritage of the church and the memories of his mother.

“We are all products of the past, and our history is a precursor to our future,” Stephen said. “Betty Inling was a pillar of the church dedicated to serving God through music, Sunday school, and Bible school.

“The Harlem Church was a lighthouse of light that gave hope to all who struggled to find peace. Her memory and the church will live forever in my heart.”

According to the fire department in Kansas City, Missouri, the damage to the building was about $ 90,000. But Withington says the congregation, the United Christian Fellowship, is determined to restore and preserve the original characteristics of historic buildings.

“I really started crying,” said Withington. “It has affected many lives.”

“Harlem” neighborhood devastated after arson damages church Source link “Harlem” neighborhood devastated after arson damages church

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