After lengthy negotiions between the Atlanta Falcons and two historical churches in Atlanta, Friendship Baptist Church and Mount Vernon Baptist Church, ended with the Falcons taking their new stadium elsewhere, Mount Vernon made a decision that could trigger another change of plans.
Friendship Baptist Church looked less inclined to budge during negotiations but will vote on a $19.5 million offer on Sunday. Their hesitance is based in the deep roots of the chuch and historical importance.
Juanita Jones Abernathy, widow of Ralph Abernathy, noted that her church should not relocate from its current site because of its historic significance and sacredness. Slaves were shipped to the church in a boxcar during the Civil War and historically black colleges Spelman and Morehouse once held classes in the basement.
"The church is a landmark in the community and it needs to remain there as a landmark," Abernathy told NBC.
$19.5 million is a lot of money, just short of the original $24.3 million they originally requested. The ball is in their court.