Ohio church noted for its history may be auctioned

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A central Ohio church noted for its historical value may be auctioned because it failed to pay back $5 million in loans for an attached medical center.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/Y474LH ) reports the oldest African-American congregation in Columbus is negotiating with the lender and hoping to reach an agreement to avoid the sale of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church. It opened in 1906 and is part of an Ohio Historical Society program recognizing locations with rich cultural history.

The building and adjacent Gateway Health and Wellness Center will be auctioned March 29 if no deal is reached.

A spokeswoman for the lender, Finance Fund, said it hopes to find a resolution and avoid a sale. Finance Fund is a nonprofit that helps organizations in low- and moderate-income areas.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com