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      'It's a great day to buy a church.'

      File Photo (WCIV)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A spokeswoman for a group raising money to buy the historic St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on Wentworth Street says the effort is successful.

      "It's a great day to buy a church," said Nancy Vinson.

      Vinson said the money raised is short of the $1.6 million needed but, she said, funds from the operating budget of Church of the Redeemer will be used to purchase the building.

      The young congregation, which is currently leasing the 1838 church, was given until Oct. 31 to match a private offer for the buildings.

      Parishioners are trying to continue their ministry and preserve the pre-Civil War church. They say major changes would be necessary to make the sanctuary into a private home.

      Future owners could legally alter or remove any part of the historic interior, including the handcrafted balconies, the historic pews, pipe organ, and the fresco of the ascending Christ.

      Every contribution made to the Holy City Fund through Oct. 31 will support the effort to save the church. Contributions can be made to: Preservation Society of Charleston, Holy City Fund, P.O. Box 521, Charleston, SC 29402, or online at www.HolyCityCharleston.org.

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