Louisiana pastor excited to be receiving 200-year-old church from N.S.

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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KENTVILLE, N.S. - A 200-year-old Nova Scotia church is going to a Louisiana town, where it will be rebuilt to serve a congregation of 80 people, but not everyone is happy about it.
All Saints Church in Granville Ferry is being dismantled and will be shipped to Abita Springs, where it will become the community's first Baptist church.
Rev. Gerel Keene, pastor of the Baptist congregation in Abita Springs, said this week he is excited about the church coming to his small community near New Orleans.
He thanked Nova Scotians for sharing a piece of their history.
"This is more than I could ever dream for," Keene said in a telephone interview from his home. "I appreciate that Nova Scotians are blessing Louisiana with some of their culture and history.
"Not only did we get some of their great people, but now we get some of their great architecture. ... I'm just as pleased as I can be."
During the deportation of the Acadians by the British in 1755, many Acadians, now known as Cajuns, resettled in Louisiana.
Keene's wife is of Acadian ancestry and her relatives were deported from the Grand Pre area.
Keene said his congregation is new and recently built a Christian daycare centre in Abita Springs, which has a historic downtown area.
Rather than build a new church and make it look old, the congregation focused on finding an old church and rebuilding it.
Keene said he saw All Saints Church, built in 1814, advertised for sale online by a contractor hired by the Anglican parish of Annapolis.
"When this church came up, I knew it right away. I thought, wow, that's what we need. I'm a southern Baptist, a Protestant, and I like the architecture, but I also like that it was tied in to Louisiana through the Acadians."
He visited Nova Scotia and the church last summer and the decision was made to buy it and ship it in pieces to Abita Springs, where he hopes it will be reassembled and in use by the end of next summer.
Not everyone is thrilled to see a piece of Nova Scotia history sold to the highest bidder.
Peter Coffman, a researcher and architectural historian at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the church is one of Canada's oldest and has unique style and characteristics that can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was built at the behest of Charles Inglis, the first Anglican bishop of Nova Scotia and first Anglican bishop appointed outside Britain.
Coffman said the sale of the church was not an "act of charity (but) a financial transaction, pure and simple."
He said Nova Scotia is losing an important piece of history and there was another option: it could have been sold to the Annapolis Heritage Society, which wanted to maintain the church as a heritage property.
Coffman said Anglican officials were deliberately ambiguous about its sale, at first saying that the building would replace a church in Louisiana destroyed by hurricane, which wasn't true.
Rev. Canon Ken Vaughan of the Annapolis parish said the information he had from the contractor indicated the church would replace another one that was destroyed.
He said he just learned this week that information was incorrect.
Vaughan said All Saints Church, deconsecrated in 2005, was one of nine surplus buildings that would have to be torn down or sold, and that the Annapolis parishioners chose to see it sold to another congregation, where it would be reborn as another church.
Keene said the building will be the oldest church in the state, once it's reassembled. There have been older churches, all since destroyed by fire or hurricane.

Organizations: All Saints Church, Nova Scotia church, Baptist church Dalhousie University Annapolis Heritage Society

Geographic location: Louisiana, Abita Springs, Nova Scotia KENTVILLE Annapolis Granville Ferry New Orleans Halifax Canada Greece Rome Britain

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