Old Church To Get New Life


The Thomas Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church sits empty.

There's not one person in the congregation.

The Western New York AME Church, Thomas's parent organization, wants to change that.

So does Buster Crabbe, who has been taking care of the church.

"We expect SRO - standing room only. We've had it in the past," he said.

Crabbe has been keeping up the church since it shut down two years ago.

Now he has some help.

The church has a new pastor.

Pastor Daren Jaime's task is to revive the church that is so rich in history.

"Being the oldest African American church in Watertown, the Thomas Church has been a staple, and we want to be a staple for good reasons and we want to rekindle those reasons," said Jaime.

"He's like a breath of fresh air. He's come in with a lot of enthusiasm. I know he's a willing worker," said Crabbe.

But before these doors can open back up, Pastor Jaime and Crabbe have two important tasks - fix up the inside and get the word out to the congregation.

"The community is the number one focus in terms of growing a church. We want to apply those same principles here and see a church and a community come together," said Jaime.

The pastor and Crabbe now begin the process of applying for grants so that the church will be in good enough shape to open for the first service in October.

Sunday, December 11, 2016
, Watertown, NY

On Demand

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.

On Wall Street