Church's condo deal stirs grave concerns
BY MATTHEW LYSIAK
DAILY NEWS WRITER
A holy row has broken out in Brooklyn after more than 200 graves were dug up to make room for luxury condos.
Protesters gathered Thursday as the remains of 211 Methodists were moved from their resting places at a soon-to-be-demolished church to Cypress Hills Cemetery.
"This is outrageously disrespectful," said Kathleen Walker, a preservationist working to save the landmarked Bay Ridge United Methodist Church.
"I call it the church of greed," Walker railed. "The church isn't concerned about desecrating the bodies of its own congregants so long as they get their cash."
Parishioners who support the church sale and grave relocation bristled at the demonstrators, all of whom are not members of the church, as disrespectful.
"This was a solemn moment for us and to have these irrational people screaming at us is an absolute disgrace," said church pastor Robert Emerick, who held a prayer service over the remains.
The church is being shuttered because of the crippling expense of maintaining it and its crumbling limestone foundation, he said.
Developers plan to replace it with a smaller church and an apartment building in the next four months.
Demolition is expected to begin next month.