Pre-civil war era church holds once a year service - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pre-civil war era church holds once a year service

A hand organ is seen in the Trinity Episcopal Church. (Source: Chief Matthew Hill, Society Hill Police) A hand organ is seen in the Trinity Episcopal Church. (Source: Chief Matthew Hill, Society Hill Police)

SOCIETY HILL, SC (WMBF) - The Trinity Episcopal Church was constructed back in 1834 and has become a historical beacon for those in Society Hill ever since. Now those in the area meet once a year, regardless of faith, to participate in a traditional Episcopalian service.

Dr. Chip Helms is a history buff who says the church's origins are not what you would call typical. He says the church was founded after the daughter of a local attorney came home after graduating from school.

"They had a party for her when she came home and apparently they did some dancing and played some music and drank some wine. And there was a pastor at a Baptist Church that called them out publicly from the pulpit...everybody who attended this party, and rather than repent, they decided they would pull out of the church and form the Episcopal church where they could drink wine and play music and dance on occasion," said Helms.

That church has now been standing for 182 years. Now once every spring, those from around Society Hill gather to remember this rich history, along with the prominent civil war figures who are buried here. Among them, "Senator Josiah Evans whose home is still standing in Society Hill," Helms said. "He was a member of Congress in the 1850s and he was instrumental in the ongoing debates between South Carolina and Massachusetts in the years leading up to the Civil War."

The Church has remained active over the years, other than a 40-year stint where it was shut down. Although it has been mostly preserved, along with an 1800's organ, Helms says the church hasn't undergone any serious remodeling.

"People ask you know why don't you get paint it and get it looking brand spanking new? You know I think there is something to be said for building that show their age," Helms said. "You know not everybody needs a facelift."

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