Wood used by freed slaves stolen from Walterboro church

WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) - Wood that was used by freed slaves to build a schoolhouse in Clarendon County more than 130 years ago has been stolen.

Father Jeffrey Kendall told The Post and Courier of Charleston the pine boards had been salvaged by Saint James the Greater Catholic Mission after the congregation finally raised enough money to renovate the schoolhouse.

The wood was inside a trailer that was stolen from the church on June 29. Colleton County deputies haven't found the wood or the person who stole the trailer.

Kendall says the church was founded in 1833 by Irish plantation owners, but slaves and their descendants became its lifeblood.

Kendall says church members planned to use the special wood to make a new alter, podium and baptismal font in the restored building.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.