MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby county will announce a $150,000 grant to make improvements to the historic First Baptist Church on Beale Street on Friday.

Built in 1869, it is one of the oldest black churches in the south, and the first built in Memphis for African American parishioners.

The grant money will go towards repairs to the roof and facade. It will also be used to make the church more compliant with The Americans with Disabilities Act.

The significance of the church cannot be overstated. It was once the site of Ida B. Wells’ newspaper office. The fearless journalist was an early leader in the Civil Rights movement and a founder of the NAACP.

A statue in her honor now graces the park outside the church.

The church has been visited by two U.S. presidents — Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt.

In Friday’s press conference, county mayor Lee Harris will be joined by faith leaders and the architects in charge of the restoration.