CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — Mount Holly Springs has assumed ownership of the historic Mount Tabor Church, according to the Cumberland County Historical Society.
The historical society said in a news release Monday that the African American Episcopal Zion Church passed ownership to the borough in November to preserve the historic site.
“The borough is incredibly fortunate to be able to assist in the preservation of a spectacular piece of history. We are excited to see what the Cumberland County Historical Society and their volunteers, in partnership with the borough, is able to do to accomplish,” said Chief Thomas Day, borough manager of Mount Holly Springs. “We hope that it will bring a greater appreciation to the years of history that developed between the walls of the church and the community around it.”
The historical society learned the importance of the church through a storytelling project called the Heart & Soul Initiative in 2016.
It still has a family connection, according to Harriet Gumby, who spoke with FOX43 in February 2018 about its history.
Gumby said the church was built around 1870 by his grandfather Elias Van Buren Parker, an ex-slave who settled in the borough after the Civil War. The church served the community until about 1970, where it remained untouched until 2016.
“This is an exciting opportunity for residents to work with the Borough to preserve the historic Mt Tabor Church,” said Carmen James, a resident of Mount Holly Springs and former congregant of the church.