The congregation of the North Buxton Church in Chatham-Kent has launched a $3.5-million lawsuit against the British Methodist Episcopal Church.

As CTV Windsor earlier reported, the congregation was told they had to relinquish and vacate the church in June.

The property has historical significance to the community dating back to the period of the underground railroad in the 1860's.

Some members of the congregation trace their ancestry to free slaves who helped build the church.

The groups lawyer, Steve Pickard, claims the episcopal church never registered a land claim for the site, and the congregation holds the legal title after it built a church hall in the 1990's.

Nothing has been has been proven in court.

The North Buxton church became independent from the BME Church of Canada in 2003, but the Toronto-based organization maintained ownership of the property.

Calls to the BME Church of Canada by CTV News for a comment on the story have not been returned.