The Sign will be saved, and the buildings will be demolished by 6/11. Check the Local section of the Charlotte Observer tomorrow for an interesting story about the history of Garr Auditorium.
Folks, it’s been a long time since I’ve provided an update, and I apologize for this. A lot has been going on, and we are very close to getting this sign down. We have a contractor lined up, and a few last minute details to take care of. Tonight, the Charlotte City Council will vote on approval of demolition of the old Garr Auditorium / Canon Cathedral. Everyone expects that this vote will pass, and the process of demolition will proceed. So, we have very little time to get this sign down. Please pray that things come together quickly, and we can move within the next week.
Keep your eyes on the news as they cover tonight’s vote. http://goo.gl/FX9D
This is just the beginning. The JESUS SAVES sign has to come down soon… Continue to pray….
Today, I spoke with Historic Charlotte. They are considering including our “Jesus Saves” sign in their “Save Our Signs” campaign. I’m very encouraged that this came along at this time. http://www.historiccharlotte.org/sos.shtml
Major setback! The owners of the sign / building can not accept liability for damages that might happen to the building during removal of the sign (understandably), and the crane company is not willing to take the risk of accepting this liability themselves (understandably)… So, the sign is staying put for now…
It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the status of our project, and it’s not because nothing has been happening. A LOT has happened, and God is opening doors for us, making way for something great!
But before I give an update, let me explain briefly what this is all about for those who are wondering.
Garr Church and Dr. A. G. Garr, it’s founder, both have a phenomenal story which began on May 11, 1930 when Dr. Garr held his first service in a tent for 17 people. A brief version of the story can be found here. The Garr Auditorium, built in 1933, became the first permanent structure for the church, and very soon (only a few weeks) this building will be demolished.
We plan to save certain iconic fixtures of this building, most prominently the unforgettable neon “Jesus Saves” sign which still stands atop the building. Once saved and restored, the sign could be displayed on the current church property as a beacon of God’s Love to all those passing by on Independence Blvd. and as a memorial of sorts to our dramatic beginnings.
After working with the current owners of the old building and the City of Charlotte for many months, we are now very close to seeing the first stage of this vision become a reality.
The City is currently getting bids for demolition and plans to follow through most likely during the month of March. The City and the buildings owners have given Garr Church permission to have the things that we would like to preserve at no cost. However, we have to get the sign down ourselves. This is both a dangerous and costly task. Thankfully, a local crane company has expressed their willingness to accomplish this task for us at the cost of $2,500. We still need a few more donations to completely fulfill this need, but we now have enough to start the work.
In addition to the sign, we plan to take some of the original brick, wood and other material which Dr. Garr originally salvaged from the Charlotte City Auditorium to build Garr Auditorim. This material will be transported to our current location and be used to build a huge cross on which to display the Jesus Saves sign, or it could be used to build something entirely different. I’m very eager to know what form God has in store for these materials. But, regardless of the form, the message, “Jesus Saves” is the main focus. The historical significance and sentiment that are attached to the sign and building will also give this structure a “memorial” aspect. It will stand to represent the amazing history of Garr Church.
Next week, I hope to schedule the removal of the sign with the crane company. We need your prayers through this process. There are many brick walls that could keep this from happening, however I have complete faith that it will.
As things progress over the next few weeks, I will update this website. So, stay tuned! 🙂