Ozark Outdoors

Timmons Temple will move to Silver Springs Park

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The Springfield-Greene County Park Board unanimously approved a proposal to relocate Timmons Temple to Silver Springs Park this morning ( Friday, Nov. 14), during during its board meeting.

Detail work on Timmons

Intricate stone work is one of the distinguishing features of Timmons Temple, which will be moved from its current location to Silver Springs Park to be used as a community center and for special events. The Springfield/Greene County Park Board approved the move on Nov. 14.

Members of the Save Timmons Temple Committee have worked closely with the park board to save the Depression-era stone church from demolition and relocate it to nearby Silver Springs Park. Both the church and Silver Springs Park hold significant cultural and historic value, particularly for Springfield’s African-American community. The board’s approval was met with tears and a hearty round of applause from a dozen committee members in attendance.

In an earlier meeting with staff, the committee presented site and development plans, a detailed cost analysis and a proposed budget of $239,596. Plans have also been submitted to the City of Springfield Building Development Services for review and permitting.

Funding to relocate the church comes entirely from pledges and in-kind donations to the committee, including $70,000 as well as infill materials and services from Greenway Studios LLS, the current owner and future developer of the church property. Numerous local contractors have also pledged to donate services and materials. The project is now within $10,000-$30,000 of being fully funded.

Park Board Chair Tim Shryack said the board wanted to see the relocation proposal succeed, but there were no parks funds available to support it. A cost analysis, development plans and funding in hand were key to the board’s approval.

“From a community perspective, it’s the right thing to do,” said Shryack. “We just wanted to figure out how to do it without fiscally jeopardizing other Parks facilities, programs and services.”

The church is expected to move from its current location at 935 E. Webster to the northwest corner of Silver Springs Park by the end of the year. The building is expected to reopen as a community center, available for special events and rentals in about 12 months.

For more information about the property, or to donate to Save Timmons Temple, visit SaveTimmonsTemple.org.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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