Historical Society event to help preserve historical churches

BLYTHEWOOD – It was just last spring that a picturesque, community treasure, the Cedar Creek Methodist Church, was taken over by its parent organization, the United Methodist Church, and some who attend the equally picturesque and historic Mt. Zion Church in Blythewood worry that its fate is sealed as well.

Some say it’s a matter of time, as worshipers continue to leave simple rural church settings for suburban churches that offer contemporary bands, fellowship halls, mega sanctuaries and other progressive aspects of worship.

A new coffee-table book featuring some of the state’s most picturesque and historic rural churches is aimed to do more than comment on their architectural beauty.

It is aimed at saving them.

Though the task is daunting, “South Carolina’s Sacred Spaces,” written by photographer Bill Fitzpatrick and published in partnership with Preservation South Carolina, was created to do just that.

Fitzpatrick’s tome documents about 600 church buildings that need saving from one thing or another.

On Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., Mike Bedenbaugh, executive director of Preservation South Carolina, will be at the Langford-Nord House to talk about South Carolina’s sacred spaces and the importance of saving them.  He will be signing copies of the book.

The event is free, and proceeds from the sale of the 264-page book will create a new statewide fund to help struggling congregations preserve and hang on to their buildings.

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