Residents relieved to see abandoned church demolished in Frayser

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It's an eyesore, and neighbors say it's the cause of an ongoing crime problem.

Tall weeds surround rubble and broken glass at the final resting place of the old Victory Tabernacle Church in Frayser.

"The church as probably been abandoned for at least eight years," said Pastor Rickey Floyd.

And it's finally coming down.

For the people who live near the abandoned church, they say it's about time.

"We'd see condoms, drug paraphernalia and stolen merchandise. You'd see where people had been living in there. They would start fires to keep warm," said Pastor Ricky Floyd.

A pastor bought the property and envisioned a church and a women's shelter, but ran into financial problems.

"It became an eyesore and a source of hopelessness," the pastor said.

Neighbors say the abandoned church is a haven for crime. After years of trying to get the building torn down, they are happy to see it go.

"Somebody got robbed there about three weeks ago," a neighbor said.

Jeanette Farmer tells us her granddaughter attends school at Frayser Elementary across the street.

"I'm so glad they're tearing this building down. It's been a nuisance for so many years, and kids walk up and down here," Farmer said.

It's also right across the street from the Pursuit of God church.

Pastor Ricky Floyd says he would often clean up the dilapidated building.

"They'll probably be done by the end of this week, because they've gotten more than a third of it down already," Pastor Floyd said.

Both Farmer and Floyd are excited to see what's next.

"I think it would be a great place to put playgrounds," Farmer said.