(WHTM) — A group of community members are working to preserve a significant piece of African American history in Cumberland County.

Mount Tabor AME Zion church is the oldest African American Episcopal Church in Cumberland County. “It was here since circa 1870 and it closed in 1970,” said Carmen James, the president of the Mt. Tabor Preservation Project.

James motioned that if you wanted to pray and go to church in Mount Holly as an African American, this was the church that you went to.

“It was the social hub,” stated James. “It was what kept this community together and made it feel like a home.”

The community members’ mission? “To make sure that it’s restored and that it’s maintained,” said James.

The church has acted as the foundation for the community, and ironically the first thing they’re working on is the actual foundation of the church.

Preservation of the church is very important to James.

“It’s an important piece of history and all too often little nuggets of history don’t get told,” explained James.

The church has sat abandoned for nearly 50 years until recently. Renovations are currently underway on the church, to help restore it.

No matter how big or small, James mentioned that every part of history is important.

“Every piece of history is important, and every story, it all started with the collection of stories through heart and soul. No matter how small the story is, big things can come out of it,” stated James.