Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church

Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church

*More than a year into a legal battle with a famous Boston church, OneUnited Bank is taking steps to foreclose on a loan to the Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church and auction off church property later  this month (March), reports

Relations between Charles Street AME and its lender have been icy for some time, since the church has been unable to repay a $4 million construction loan on a nearby community center it was building. The bank, facing its own financial struggles and a $12 million federal bailout it has been unable to repay, sued the church in October 2010.

Now, the stakes in the fight have ratcheted up. In recent days, without warning to the church, the bank advertised that it planned to foreclose on the AME property, where worshipers have been congregating since 1939, as well as another property in Milton.

“It’s unfortunate that they had to resort to that,” the Rev. Gregory G. Groover Sr. said yesterday. “This is clearly a result of their anger around the litigation. Or maybe it was simply to humiliate and embarrass us.”

The high-profile fight pits a famous congregation – founded in 1818 on Beacon Hill and part of the Underground Railroad – against a bank owned by black executives who say their mission is community lending.

Read more here.