The Tabernacle Baptist Church in Utica has dedicated its refurbished steeple as the Davison Tower of Refuge in honor of the Karen refugee members of its congregation.

Named after Reverend James Davison and his wife, Edith, the Davison Tower of Refuge serves as a testament to the more than 1,000 Karen refugees who have become members of the congregation in recent years.

Pastor Richard Burke, Interim Pastor said, “The restored Davison Tower of Refuge has been dedicated with the desire, of Tabernacle Baptist Church that the tower will serve as a symbol to all that everyone is welcome. It is the prayer of the church that as people enter the doors, they will feel the spirit of the Lord’s love here.”

The 153-year old Tabernacle Baptist Church’s steeple restoration began in September 2017 and was completed in February.

The tower work was paid for through New York State Historic Preservation and Sacred Sites grants and contributions from congregation members.