Friday, January 6, 2017

Congregation fights to preserve historic church

Via Billy

ABBEVILLE -- Trinity Episcopal Church’s 36-member congregation is working to repair and renovate the 156-year-old church.

“It’s not just a church effort, but it’s a community effort because the church is not ours -- it belongs to the community,” said the Rev. Todd Oswald, who has been the priest at Trinity for about a year.

Trinity, which was completed and consecrated in November 1860 -- just days before Abraham Lincoln was elected president and weeks before South Carolina voted to secede from the Union -- is the oldest church in Abbeville County, and maintaining its aging structure is a constant challenge.

Oswald said, “There have been numerous efforts to restore the church.”

The last substantial effort to restore the building took place in 1976, said Dick Haldeman, Trinity’s clerk and parish administrator. The current project, he said, is expected to be far more comprehensive.

On Trinity’s grounds is a cemetery, built in 1852, that serves as the final resting place for soldiers killed in the Civil War, and set in the church’s walls are stained glass-windows created by William Gibson, who began the earliest known stained-glass business in America in the 1830s.


  1. You have a beautiful, 157 year old church that needs to be preserved there. We, on the other hand, have an 80 year old, run down, 5 block long produce terminal in Pittsburgh that needs to be torn down to allow development and access to the riverfront. There is an outcry that the terminal needs to be preserved because it's a historic landmark in the area. It's ugly, mostly unused and adds to the urban blight, but some people want to preserve it. At the same time we have demolished spectacular churches and other buildings that were well over 100 years old in the name of progress. Jenkins Arcade in downtown Pittsburgh was torn down to allow new construction. This was the first indoor mall in the United States and should have been designated an historic landmark, at least in my opinion. Sometimes I just don't understand the reasoning that goes into these decisions...