Prayers answered for historic St. Andrews church

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV){}-- For the last 90 days members of Redeemer Presbyterian Church have rallied to raise $1.6 million to buy the old St. Andrews Lutheran Church.

To their overwhelming surprise the congregation raised just under the amount needed. The rest was taken from the church's operational budget.

"It is amazing how the Lord has provided funds," said Nancy Vinson, the building committee chairwoman.

Vinson says many of the donations were given by strangers.

"We thought we were sort of at the end of our rope and we didn't have anybody else left to ask. And, anonymous donations came in. One for $50,000 from over a thousand miles away from somebody we don't know with the only message in it, 'the Lord provides'.

The other funds were given sacrificially by church members.

"Some of the students that visited our church for the summer last summer sending in checks for $25, $10 and $15," said Kathy Bailey, the pastor's wife. "Our own youth group raising about $2,000 with lemonade stands and yard sales. We began to see God is really in this, and he is big."

"Families with multiple children in college who've pledged $18,000. Members who were St. Andrews Lutheran Church members, who grew up in this church, who love it, who have come to love us -- pledging $10,000 over time. It's just been phenomenal the giving."

On Wednesday, church leaders walked to the closing of the building. Many called it a walk of faith.

"It really was an obstacle of timing and surprise. We had no idea that we were even in the running for a building as beautiful as this because the price had been so high that we weren't even planning on or anticipating that we would be the ones that God would allow to purchase the building," said Bailey.

Vinson says the church is still in need{}of financial help. Click here to find out how to donate.