Key Events

Fall 2016

  • Initial organizing meetings to save the former Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church are convened in Great Barrington
  • Volunteers form Clinton Church Restoration with longtime Clinton Church member Wray Gunn as chair
  • Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (Housatonic Heritage) agrees to act as fiscal agent for the project
  • Clinton Church Restoration incorporates as a Massachusetts nonprofit
  • Fundraising campaign to raise $100,000 to save the church begins
  • Roof leak patched by volunteers with permission of the church’s owner

Winter 2017

  • Former congregants and community members celebrate the 130th anniversary of the dedication of the church on February 6
  • A public meeting and two design charrettes facilitated by interpretive master planner Veronica Jackson result in an internal Visioning Report for the board
  • Fundraising reception held at Barnbrook Realty for Southern Berkshire business community
  • Benefit screening of new James Baldwin documentary held at the Triplex GB
  • Students at Simon’s Rock College of Bard holds a fundraiser for CCR
  • $10,000 challenge grant from the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site is met

Spring 2017

  • Initial $100,000 fundraising goal surpassed on March 30 (one day early)
  • Clinton Church Restoration closes on the purchase of the Clinton Church on May 31

Summer 2017

  • Great Barrington-based Clark & Green Architects engaged to undertake Conditions Survey and Historic Structure Report
  • Greenagers, an environmental education program that provides jobs for youth, helps CCR volunteers remove, clean and store the church pews and other church belongings
  • Local group re-enacts 1963 Civil Rights Roundtable at Dewey Hall as benefit for CCR
  • Berkshire Playwrights Lab performance of “Some Old Black Man” at St. James Place benefits CCR
  • Filmed discussion of church memories with former congregants and others facilitated by Frances Jones-Sneed held at Simon’s Rock
  • Collaboration with Berkshire Oral History Project and Berkshire NAACP begins
  • Local photographer Julie McCarthy documented the inside of the church
  • RFP issued for development of a Historic Structure Report on the church

Fall 2017

  • Two-day Planning Workshop with key stakeholders facilitated by Partners for Sacred Spaces, a national nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and active community use of historic religious properties, and Veronica Jackson. A preliminary master plan will be produced post-workshop.
  • CCR co-sponsors film screening and discussion of Dear White People with Great Barrington’s Mason Library and Railroad Street Youth Project
  • Great Barrington’s Community Preservation Committee votes unanimously to recommend funding of CCR’s grant proposal for restoration work on the church
  • Leaking roof is patched  pro bono
  • Received 501c3 approval from the IRS

Winter 2018

  • Historic Structure Report received from Clark & Green Architects
  • Strategy Overview Report received from The Jackson Design Group
  • The collection at January 15th MLK Day Interfaith Service at First Congregational Church in Great Barrington will benefit efforts to restore Clinton Church
  • National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grants Program awards$388,508 to Housatonic Heritage for Phase I work on the church
  • Secretary of the Commonwealth and Massachusetts Historical Commission awarded a $75,000 MPPF emergency grant to CCR for Phase I work

Spring 2018

  • Architect Steve McAllister of Clark & Green and preservationist Bill Finch present their findings from their Historic Structure Report at  St. James Place on April 15
  • Benefit performance/talk and book signing with Ray Anthony Shepard, author of Now or Never! 54th Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery held at First Congregational Church in Great Barrington on May 5
  • May 29th marks the 10th anniversary of the listing of Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Great Barrington voters approve the award of $100k in Community Preservation Act funding for Phase I work on the church