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First Presbyterian Church Million Dollar Project

By: Laurabree Austin Email
By: Laurabree Austin Email

A Charleston church is undergoing a complete makeover. The First Presbyterian Church on Leon Sullivan way was built in the early 1900's.

What began as a small leak has turned into a multi million dollar project. After nearly a 100 years the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Charleston could tell endless stories, but now it's getting one of its own.

“Once a month I put up a story board, label every picture, of everything that's gone up on the roof,” Mike Abernathy said.

What's going on up on the roof is impressive-- $3 million dollars in renovations in fact.

“It’s fantastic, it's been a great job and I’ve enjoyed it,” Abernathy said.

Mike Abernathy works for an architecture firm and is also a longtime church member. He’s been overseeing this massive project that began back in may.

“It is scary but our church is committed to being an inner city church and we've got a lot of community outreach and everything we do is right here and we're going to stay for the next hundred years, that's what we're working towards,” Abernathy said.

The work grew, though, and the original problem actually showed up first inside.

Much of what's being repaired is hard to appreciate until you get close to it.

“When you get up there and see the detail it's just amazing, and it's a shame you can't see it from the street you can't appreciate it until you ride the lift and get up there,” Business Administrator Jackie Lilly said.

When the dome is complete, and all the scaffolding is removed, it will be a site the whole city can enjoy.

The stained glass windows that are original to the church were taken out very carefully last month right now they're actually in Iowa being restored. Those windows are expected to be back in Charleston and re-installed before Christmas.


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