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Congregation halfway to "saving" church

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The pews and pulpit of St. Andrew's Church might be more than 150 years old, but the congregation that fills them every week is young.

"A lot of new couples, young couples, families, college kids , people at the law school and MUSC -- I would say that makes up a majority of the congregation," 24-year-old Kate Bailey says of the Redeemer Presbyterian Congregation.

It's those people that are helping to "save" the Wentworth Street church from development.  The congregation was given 90 days to match a private $1.6 million offer for the church and parish hall.

"It's been surprising -- the amount of support," Bailey says.  "People my age don't have a lot to give and don't have a lot of financial stability right now, so to speak."

So far, the congregation has helped to raise $800,000 for the campaign.  Their deadline to raise the remaining $800,000 is October 31st.

"We've always just had this young, vibrant congregation, which is great -- until you need to buy a $1.6 million church and then you don't have a lot of deep pockets to call on," Capital Campaign Chair Nancy Vinson says.  "The sacrificial giving of our young members was inspiring."

Vinson says the donors included a 23-year-old who committed $10,000, as well as people from other congregations of different faiths.

People interested in contributing can do so by visiting holycitycharleston.org.

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