Praise House to relocate this week

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - An historic African-American worship site will be uprooted this week to make way for redevelopment.{}DeReef Park preservationists are worried.

"It's already very old and I'm really afraid it's going to crumble," said Dana Campbill, who{}wants to save DeReef Park.

Over the years, Friends of DeReef Park, a nonprofit organization with a goal of limiting further development and preserving green space, has been working to protect the Praise House.

The structure is on private property and was approved to be moved last May despite the protests of those who want it to stay put.

Mary Miller is also an advocate for DeReef Park.

"It needs to be as a historic structure maintained, preserved and in place otherwise we are just destroying another piece of history," Miller said.

Chris Phillips is the project developer. He says the way the structure is being moved is fine.

"It stands to reason that you have to prepare the structure before the move so it can survive the move so to speak," he said.

The Praise House has been on the back of the property for year, but it will now be moved to sit within the sight of tourists. There will also be a designated park with playground equipment.

"We've committed a significant amount of money not only to relocate it but restore the church," Phillips said.

The developer says he understands the worries of those who want to make sure the praise house is preserved.{}He insists a company with experience will handle it with care.