On Sunday, Jan. 28, it was evident the Presbyterian Church on Penn St. which has been empty and unused for so many years was quite active on a Sunday afternoon, January 28. The lights, in the form of hanging chandeliers inside, were brightly lit, cars filled the paved parking area, and the overgrown shrubbery had been removed to show the clean lines of the architecture, namely the porch.
Members of the community have been responsive and two dropped by and informed the newspaper that they had attended the worship service there. Bob Brown and Gary Bainton (Bainton a Presbyterian minister himself) had been drawn to the building, wondering about its empty look, and were pleased to join in the service that Sunday.
Both gentlemen (seen in a photo on page 10) had watched with approval as the cleaning of the yard and refurbishing of the inside took place. “I was impressed with what they had done with paint.” Also noting, “The four brass chandeliers are beautiful and they left the crown molding and certain pleasing architectural accents,” said Bainton. He had served there as preacher for several services when the church was active, in the past. Bainton enjoyed the worship service feeling it was “classic Presbyterian.”
The Advertiser reached out to the pastor of the church, Rev. Matthew Clark, who returned the call. He was welcoming of the community interest and stated: “We are hoping to be a blessing to the community of Edgefield. We plan to be active in making Edgefield a joyful place to live and to work.”
He spoke of the congregation in this way: “We really love to come together on Sunday and worship. . .” In speaking of the building, Rev. Clark stated that “the building and property are ours.” And they have been working there, hard he said, in preparing it for the services. They want it known that they welcome worshipers, “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” They welcome them “to see what it is like for a bunch of Christians to enjoy the worshiping of the Lord.”
As for placing the congregation in Presbyterian terms, they are members of the Covenant Presbyterian Church denomination. The congregation is known as the Foothills Christian Assembly as noted in their worship bulletin.
Having this church building in use brings an added warmth of fellowship to the community. Many will remember the Presbyterian Church as it used to stand on the corner of Lynch and Simpkins Streets. The old church was a wooden structure and it burned several decades ago. The congregation rebuilt this brick edifice on the land where the William Thurmond family had lived for many years.
The Community welcomes the Foothills Christian Assembly.