A major project is underway at an African church in Oro-Medonte to restore the historic building.

Archaeologists were at the African Methodist Episcopal Church on Thursday sifting through soil looking for pieces of history.

The archaeologists donated their time for the project, and so far have found a bottle and some ashes under the church floorboards and expect to find more as they dig into the soil inside the church.

“So far they’ve found glass, probably window glass, some nails, wood and a little bit of charcoal,” says archaeologist field director Amanda Wong.  

And since at one time there was a cemetery close to the building, there is a chance remains could be found.

“Ideally we don’t want to move any remains but if the work can’t be altered and it’s not impacted then the remains will probably be removed and interred somewhere else on the site,” adds Wong.

After the archaeologists complete their work, the next step involves dealing with the buildings foundation.

“To do that we raise the building up and pour a foundation and then from there we start the log repairs,” says Shawn Binns, Director of Recreation Community Services for Oro-Medonte.

Oro-Medonte has around $260,000 to complete the restoration project.

“This is a great day because all the efforts of all people that worked behind the scenes are coming together, finally we have a shovel in the ground,” says Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes.

Work won’t be complete before winter, so engineers will determine how the church will be protected from the elements. The township hopes to have the project complete sometime in the summer of 2016.