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      Downtown Church saved by donation holds first service

      By Ava Wilhiteawilhite@abcnews4.com

      Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) -- As members of Redeemer Presbyterian walked up the stairs to church, they walked under the 'Saved' banner.{}

      "Last Sunday, Craig preached on "Have faith in the Lord," like he said, we had no idea we were going to be able to come up with the money, to make this a successful operation," says church member William Jones.

      Jones says he was amazed to learn on Wednesday they had saved their church. Just days ago the congregation was $150,000 short of being able to buy the 173 year old building. The church needed to match a private offer to buy the historic St. Andrews Church.

      "Well, we didn't think it was appropriate for a house of God like this to be turned into a residence. I think a lot of other people, the preservation society and Mayor Riley for example, a lot of other people agreed with us," says Jones.

      Some of the congregation members made peace with the idea they could lose their building.{} Even they were overwhelmed at the last minute outpour.

      "I'm still trying to comprehend.{} He really does hold all things in his hand, and he can give us whatever we need and he did. So, to whom much more is given, more will be required," says church member Lisa Christian.

      Pastor Craig Bailey says for the past several months the entire church was in fundraising mode.

      "Then, in just a miraculous way, just Wednesday morning, just hours before our closing, we had two huge pledges come in that enabled us to be able to sign the papers," said Bailey.

      Pastor Bailey says they will continue to work on the debt they owe on the church, but they are looking forward to focusing on the ministry.

      Next Sunday evening, Nov. 11, the church plans to hold an official dedication service at 6 p.m.

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