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Church opening museum to remember its history

Lawrence Pierce
St. John's Episcopal Church, which turns 175 on Sunday, is opening a museum of sorts with items from its history.
Lawrence Pierce
Old copies of "The Book of Common Prayer" are included in the museum.
Read about St. John's 175-year history here. CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In honor of its historic birthday, St. John's Episcopal Church is opening a museum of sorts with pieces of its 175-year past.The museum is housed at the church, at 1105 Quarrier St.Prior to opening the room, the church had several of the historic items in storage. Others came from church and community members."[The items were] mainly put away in storage so people can't see," said Janet Morris, church archivist. "That's when we decided that we should, you know, let people view these things."Items in the museum will include a candlestick -- one half of a pair that was left when a thief broke into the church in the 1980s, stealing its mate, altar linens and other items.
There are old ledgers -- some dating back to 1855 that record marriages, births, and deaths."We've got a whole room full of these ledgers," Morris said. "A vault-full, really."There's a promotional certificate, presented to a fourth-grader in September 1931 on the Sunday he transitioned from one grade level to another.There's also a copy of a receipt for $1,850 in reparations from the U.S. government the church received when Union forces occupied its building during the Civil War.Prayer books dating back to 1790 and old Bibles are also part of the collection.Morris and a committee at the church have been working on putting together the display for about six weeks, she said.The church museum will be open Sunday after the morning church service, as well as Sunday night.After this Sunday, the museum will open once every quarter and by appointment, Morris said.Reach Lori Kersey at or 304-348-1240.
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