- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) - For the first time since 1955, a historic church at Harpers Ferry is coming back to life.

Rev. Jackie Dorsey has won the approval from the National Park Service to preach at Curtis Freewill Baptist Church near the entrance to Storer College, The Journal (http://bit.ly/1HShzEH ) reports.

Dorsey’s For the Sake of the Soul Christian congregation was without a building until she struck the agreement to temporarily use the sanctuary.

“Honestly, it’s a dream that I’ve had for a while, that we’d be able to do the works of God close to home without all that driving. We drove for three hours, sometimes, every Sunday morning, faithfully,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey has preached at four churches in West Virginia, including a church in Morgantown, and moved back to Charles Town from Morgantown with her husband in 2013.

Curtis Freewill Baptist Church served students at Storer College and Harpers Ferry’s African-American residents. It was built between 1889 and 1896.

The historically black Storer College operated from 1865 to the 1950s and initially educated freed slaves and their children. When it closed in 1955, the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church was also closed.

“This church is significant as far as the history of black people in Harpers Ferry. It’s been closed for all this time, and there’s too much history here to just forget about it. (The Park) doesn’t even open the church up for tours, and that’s too bad, because the sanctuary is beautiful,” Dorsey said.

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Information from: The Journal, http://journal-news.net/

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