SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — On Saturday, people gathered at First Bryan Baptist Church to watch the first screening of the documentary “Seven Acres and a Church” from DOC Savannah, an organization that inspires change through documentary film. It follows the struggle to preserve Yamacraw Village from demolition, in an area where people say their voices aren’t being heard.

The 200-year-old landmark, First Bryan Baptist Church, sits on the edge of Yamacraw Village, a more than 80-year-old housing complex rich in Savannah’s Black history. On Saturday, people gathered at the church to watch the premiere of DOC Savannah’s new film and discuss what can be done to save the land from impending demolition.

Attendees say complaints of poor living conditions in the low-income housing development are being purposefully ignored.

“It seems like they’re looking to get the vacancies up so that it’s an easy argument for promoting demolition. But there’s people that live here under unsatisfactory conditions, right here, today, and that’s just shameful in my opinion,’ said Bob Spell, a founder of the Yamacraw Restoration Project.

Also in attendance were Alderwomen Lanier, Blakely and Gibson-Carter, with Alderwoman Gibson-Carter acknowledging that they are the minority on Savannah’s city council, but that they support Yamacraw’s preservation.

“When we received the notice that there was intent to demolish Yamacraw, we were behind the Benton family and the residents of Yamacraw 100% to preserve this land and to preserve these housing units,” Alderwoman Gibson-Carter said.

She says First Bryan Baptist Church is actually the rightful owner of Yamacraw Village.

“Through the efforts to try to save and preserve Yamacraw, documentation and information was revealed to show that the church actually owns surrounding property,” Gibson-Carter said..

The Housing Authority of Savannah, which says it plans to replace the Village’s 315 units in kind, have produced documentation of its purchase of land from the church, but church members say their deed overrules this.

“We welcome them presenting whatever documentation they may wish to try to prove ownership, but we know what our original deed says and that’s what we’re going to stand by,” said Laray Benton, lifetime First Bryan Baptist Church member and star of the documentary.

The Housing Authority of Savannah could not be reached for comment. This is a developing story that WSAV will continue to follow.