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A pastor’s dream, a Roxbury church in crisis

Proud Roxbury church, buried deep in debt, leans on the courts and faith to survive

Betty Williams (top left), the Rev. Gracie Redfearn, and Barbara Ravenell prayed at Charles Street AME Church. Work on the church’s Renaissance Center was halted amid financial woes. The Rev. Gregory Groover had big dreams for the congregation. Betty Williams (top left), the Rev. Gracie Redfearn, and Barbara Ravenell prayed at Charles Street AME Church. Work on the church’s Renaissance Center was halted amid financial woes. The Rev. Gregory Groover had big dreams for the congregation. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
By Meghan E. Irons and Beth Healy
Globe Staff / April 22, 2012
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In the past two years, Charles Street has fought off lawsuits, stalled a foreclosure, and staved off a foreclosure auction. Now as the church looks to restructure, some in the pews are asking: How did things go so wrong for Charles Street?

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OneUnited Bank’s president, Kevin Cohee, eager to make
a mark in Grove Hall,
approached Charles Street
with an offer to help build
the center, church officials say.