Ruins and Rebuilding

August 24, 2011

Surrounded by gravestones and standing tall and defiant, are the ominously beautiful brick remains of Biggin Church, just outside the city limits of Moncks Corner. The history of Biggin Church is one of tragic events, natural and man-made. The building was erected in 1712 as the church of St. John’s Parish, an Anglican congregation of early prominence. Among its vestrymen were General William Moultrie and Henry Laurens, key figures of the Colonial period and the American Revolution. The first building was destroyed by fire in 1755 and rebuilt in 1761. It was burned again by the British during the War of Independence and rebuilt. It was ransacked by Union soldiers and striped of its interior fixtures and valuables during the Civil War. Finally, it was destroyed by a forest fire in 1886, never to be rebuilt again. The Biggin Church ruins remain today as a monument of sorts to the sad history of a promising center of Christian worship and work that didn’t last. One supposes that the parishioners made the decision that rebuilding wasn’t worth it and moved on to others places of worship.

While new churches are being built and new congregations are forming are things to celebrate, I pray that parishioners in older churches will recognize that their churches are worth rebuilding. The fact is there are many churches in ruin today. Their buildings are just fine, but the life has gone out of them. We desperate need new churches, but we desperately need to rebuild and renew our existing churches as well. We don’t need more monuments to the past. We need more “living stones” being rebuilt and renewed to advance the cause of Christ.

(Adapted from Past, Present, and Forever)

 

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