Church Opens 100-Year-Old Time Capsule

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- A voice from the past rang out in the present Sunday afternoon as members of one Charleston church opened a century-old time capsule.

The capsule was found underneath the cornerstone of Central United Methodist Church on Bigley Avenue. It was placed there in 1913 but wasn't able to be retrieved until the building was recently demolished.

On Sunday, members of Canaan United Methodist Church cracked open the capsule and examined its contents. A Christian newspaper, a Bible, a hymnal, and church records from that year were found inside.

"It's sort of like receiving a telephone call from the past," church leader Carr Grubb Jr. said. "How would you feel if you answered the phone?"

But that wasn't the only time capsule they opened. Another was placed in the now-demolished church only ten years ago, and the Canaan congregation chose to open it today -- even though a marker stated that it was intended for 2092.

"Since that church does not exist anymore, we decided to go ahead and open that today [as well]," Grubb said.

Photos, VHS tapes, and other church mementos were inside.

Noble Conner, 88, did the honor of opening both capsules. Church leaders say his father put together the first capsule back in 1913.

"I did not know what was in the safe," Conner said.

Canaan pastor Johnna Russo says some of the old items will be displayed in the church archives upstairs. She believes remembering faith brings comfort while thinking about the changing times.

"No matter what happens today, good or bad... it won't be the same tomorrow," she said. "But God is the same. And the people of God will always be a part of this world."

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