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Frayser residents call for action when it comes to old, blighted church

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A community is coming together to do something about an abandoned church left in shambles.

"First of all, it`s not safe. Second of all, it`s an esteem killer," said Pastor Ricky Floyd of Pursuit of God Church.

It's an ongoing problem in Frayser- an abandoned building empty and falling apart.

"Would you say at least 6? 6 feet, 6-5, 6-4? Too tall."

A maze of weeds and crumbling concrete were all that's left of the former Victory Tabernacle Church.

"It`s not uncommon to hear kids over here smashing glasses out. It`s not uncommon to see people going in there stealing pipes and stuff," said Floyd.

It's right across the street from the Pursuit of God Church where Pastor Floyd said just two weeks ago, a man was caught on camera breaking into five cars in the church parking lot.

"We`ve got to reduce environments where the criminal will feel safe to commit their crime."

In 2015,we showed you how the city had cut the grass at the old church several times and then placed liens on the property to pay for the work.

Back then, the Public Works Department told WREG they'd consider boarding up some of the windows on the old church - which they've done- but the result are still far from picture perfect.

"There`s plenty of blight, but that`s the really critical one that if we could turn that around, it would change the look of the neighborhood," said Steve Lockwood with the Frayser Economic Development Corp.

Lockwood said he's hoping they can give the building new life rather than just tearing it down.

"Tearing it down just leaves a big grassy vacant lot as it is."

One of the things stopping Lockwood from taking over the building are the hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes the new owner would have to take on.