Sunday, November 28, 2010

St. Michael's Church

This morning I attended a quiet and reflective service at the beautiful St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Charleston. 

I had heard so much about the beauty and significance of the history of this church; I couldn't wait to go there, praise God and pay tribute to its blessed congregation.

Built in the 1750s, St. Michael's is the oldest church building in Charleston and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the centuries, it has survived numerous serious blows, including fires, wars, hurricanes and earthquakes. Each time it was damaged, it was painstakingly restored or reconstructed.

Inside, the church retains its traditional 18th century English design, with a second story gallery and native cedar box-pews. Residents here are rightfully proud of the fact that Pew #42 was used by George Washington in 1791 and General Robert E. Lee in 1861.

The Bells of St. Michael's were created and imported from England in 1764, and since then have made numerous trips back and forth to London. 

During the Revolutionary War, the British took the eight bells back to London as a war prize. Later, a Londoner purchased the bells and returned them to St. Michael's Church. During the Civil War, the bells were cracked in a fire. The metal fragments were salvaged and, once again, sent back to London to be recast in their original form. 

Then, in 1989, the bells were damaged during Hurricane Hugo. Afterwards, they were sent back to London to the same foundry for repair. In 1993, they were once again returned to their home in Charleston!

The Bells of St. Michael's Church are special city treasures. Hearing them ring out is a wonderful and truly inspiring experience - one I wouldn't have missed for anything!

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