Construction begins on Reaves Chapel Restoration Project

The first phase of the Reaves Chapel Restoration Project is complete. (photo: Coastal Land Trust)

NAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — A historical church in Brunswick County is getting a big facelift through a massive restoration project. Construction has begun on the Reaves Chapel Restoration Project in Navassa.

Reaves Chapel is one of the Cape Fear’s most culturally and historically significant African American structures. Thanks to a donation from The Orton Foundation, Coastal Land Trust purchased the chapel in March.

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The first phase of the project, stabilization began last week. Stabilization consisted of removing the contents inside the building, then the corner beneath the steeple and bell was propped up because it was the most deteriorated. The bell, steeple, and chimney were then removed to prevent their weight from damaging the structure further. Tarps and rubber coverings will be placed over the existing roof. The bell and steeple will be restored and returned to their rightful places once the interior and exterior of the building are repaired and restoration is complete.

“We are relieved that, thanks to the work of our excellent contractors, Reaves Chapel has been stabilized,“ said Jesica Blake, Director of Stewardship and Community Conservation at the Coastal Land Trust. “We are very grateful for the support and interest of many individuals in the Navassa community in this effort. We also appreciate continued support for this first phase of the Restoration Project from The Orton Foundation, and from a new corporate donor, Paynter Law, which made possible the stabilization work just completed.”

Now that stabilization is finished, the Reaves Chapel Restoration project will work towards the second phase of repairing the structure to usable condition.

The third phase will consist of a historic restoration.

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