Civil Rights Icon Pushing for Renovation of Old Memphis Hospital

Local News

National civil rights leader and founder of the National Push Coalition Jesse Jackson will be making a plea to renovate one of the city’s oldest black hospitals.

Collins Chapel Hospital, which is named after the oldest black church in Memphis, hasn’t been operational since 1980.

Jackson will be in town for the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death in Memphis and he will also making a public plea to raise money to turn the old building into a rehabilitation center. 

Collins Chapel Hospital was operated by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. 

“Since 1910, the CME Church launched this hospital and healthcare facility to provide health care to the African- American Community who at the time were denied access to the all white hospitals,” said Bishop Henry Williamson.

After integration happened there wasn’t much need for the all Black hospital. It had a short stint as a clinic before shutting down. 

The CME Church still owns the building and 3 years ago they discovered yet again there was a medical need in the city that was not being met. 

“We’re now specializing in a much needed medical area for Shelby county and that is dialysis for patients as well as vent units for those that need to breathe through their throat,” said Williamson.  

It will cost about 3 million dollars to complete the project. 

Rev. Jesse Jackson will speak Monday April 3rd at Mt. Olive CME Church at 7pm. 

Jackson will speak about health care in this country and the importance of funding projects like the old Collins Chapel Hospital.

Mt. Olive CME Church is located at 538 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.

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