In The News

Editorial: A promising web of preservation expands across South Carolina

A Greenwood couple donates a 19th century Greek Revival home in Newberry to a statewide nonprofit that plans to sell it and use the proceeds to repair a historic Abbeville church with many links to Charleston.

That’s just one way a web of preservation is being spun widely across the state by the nonprofit group Preservation South Carolina. It’s a promising effort.

Mike Bedenbaugh, Preservation South Carolina executive director, acquired the 1850s-era home in Newberry as a donation from Dr. O.M. and Linda Cobb of Greenwood. Her great-grandmother bought the home in 1891. The ideal outcome would be a win-win: placing the home in the hands of a new preservation-minded owner and using part of the proceeds to help repair Trinity Episcopal Church, one of the state’s most significant at-risk churches.

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1850s Newberry home donated to Preservation SC; portion of sale proceeds to benefit Trinity

The acquisition of an 1850s house in Newberry by Preservation South Carolina could produce double benefits.

Investment and restoration by willing partners could help preserve the Ruff/Wicker/Cobb house for future generations, plus a portion of sale proceeds will also support restoration at Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville.

Mike Bedenbaugh, Preservation South Carolina executive director, announced July 18 that a Greek Revival style house in Newberry, dating to the 1850s, was donated to the nonprofit by Greenwood physician Dr. O.M. Cobb and his wife, Linda. The home was purchased by Cobb’s great-grandmother, Rebecca Paysinger in 1891.

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Trinity Episcopal Steeple to be Detached and Anchored in Stabilization Project

Cutting timbers and balancing tension while sawing is “a very complicated dance” high above ground, to secure the tall steeple of the historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville.

Mike Bedenbaugh, Preservation South Carolina executive director, said phase one, the securing of Trinity Episcopal’s steeple, is getting a big, temporary boost beginning early today.

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View the Trinity Steeple Straightening Video!

Preservation South Carolina's Executive Director, Michael Bedenbaugh, provides us with an informative video recorded during the process of straightening the steeple!


View the YouTube Video Here


From WYFF4 – April 8, 2020

Historic South Carolina church steeple renovation moves forward using COVID-19 safety precautions

It’s quiet inside the 160-year-old Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville, South Carolina.

The historic John Baker Tracker organ — silent for two decades.

But outside, construction noise filled the streets as the structure’s steeple was straightened Wednesday.

“When George Walker designed this place, that steeple was the tallest structure in South Carolina outside of Charleston and Columbia. And we suspect probably the whole South East — 125-foot-tall — and it represented the sense of Christian aspiration looking upward to heaven,” said Michael Bendenbaugh, executive director of Preservation South Carolina, the only statewide organization tasked with preserving historic locations across the Palmetto State since 1990.

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Mike Bedenbaugh, Executive Director

Trinity Episcopal in Abbeville to Receive National Grant

ABBEVILLE — Trinity Episcopal Church is set to be awarded a national preservation grant that will help in restoring the Trinity Street landmark.

The National Fund for Sacred Places is awarding preservation grants to 10 historic congregations in the country — totaling $1.9 million — and the gothic revival church in Abbeville is among them. Plus, it’s the only one in South Carolina for this granting cycle.

“The grant Trinity is being awarded is $250,000,” said Mike Bedenbaugh, Preservation South Carolina executive director. “However, that national preservation grant is tied to matching funds that we have to raise to get the full amount.”

Bedenbaugh said the Trinity Episcopal restoration project must raise $500,000 in matching funds.

Restore Trinity is a Project of Preservation South Carolina