RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A historic downtown Raleigh church is turning to the community for help restoring its stained glass windows.
St. Paul AME Church was the first independent congregation of African Americans in Raleigh and is the oldest African-American church in Wake County.
"The founders of this church were former slaves," explained Trustee Edward Wills.
But the beautiful church windows are starting to deteriorate from age and it is cheaper to fix them than replace them.
Brenda Holloman is the president of the Wake County Historical Society, which has recently partnered with the church to raise funds.
"Preservation is where we have been. It is what was there. If we lose that, we lose our history," she explained.
Holloman says replacing the windows is not an option, and it will cost several hundred thousand dollars to restore all seventy two in the church.
"It's so magnificent. It is truly the most magnificent church in Wake County in my opinion," she said.
The church has meant so much to so many for so long, Wills says that hope is not in the church's vocabulary for this project
"It's not "if." It's not "can." It will happen. We don't know when and how, but it will happen," he offered.
Right now, there is no deadline to have the restoration complete, if you would like to adopt a window or donate to the church's preservation, you can contact the church directly, or contact the Wake County Historical Society.