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Overflowing ditches blamed for Antioch Church damage

Antioch Baptist Church at Susan has recently undergone costly repairs for water damage, and church trustees are pointing to overflowing ditches as the culprit.

In addition, the historic Rosenwald School that belongs to the church and that houses the L.W. Wales Center, a museum of local black culture, has sustained damage from standing water, and trustees say it, too, is slated for expensive repairs.

The Rev. Dr. MarQuita Carmichael Burton, pastor of Antioch, which was built in 1869, said that when it rains, the drainage ditches along Antioch Road in front of the church overflow and it takes a long time for the ditches to drain.

She said church representatives had raised concerns with the county about the ongoing problem.

“We want to be good stewards of our resources and our church so they will remain for future generations,” she said.

Trustees Winston and Aretha Thomas and Charles L. Forrest said the church recently spent nearly $43,000 to replace rotten floor joists, ...

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