Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill

Holy Trinity assists Butler Chapel to rise from the ashes


ORANGEBURG — Last weekend saw the opening of a new $500,000 church in Orangeburg, which has come to stand through the support of groups nationwide. Amid the racially instigated church burnings in 1995 and 1996, Butler Chapel AME was razed accidentally, in reports from the police, by kids who were playing inside. Nonetheless, many people lost their place of worship and were greatly affected.

“Having your church burn down is devastating; it’s like a death,” said Rev. Patrick Mellerson, pastor of Butler Chapel.

The tragedy, however, managed

to shed some good in the community. It brought together people of all denominations and race who sought to help rebuild the church. Since

its destruction March 31, 1996, donations thrived locally as well

as nationally.

Holy Trinity Church in Orangeburg pooled its resources and its parishioners to support its neighboring church. Father Michael Polewczak

in his sermon at the Friday dedication ceremony, which was part of

the three-day celebration of the opening of the new church, said, “With this event we are overcoming not just bricks and mortar, but we are working together to build the kingdom of God. We are working to overcome racism and religious


Father Polewczak said Butler Chapel has offered a tremendous response to Holy Trinity as well as to all their supporters. Father Polewczak said the bond of fellowship that has been forged between everyone involved will go beyond current activities and continue to grow.

Donations received by the Diocese of Charleston were presented to Butler Chapel by Holy Trinity Church, who has been involved in fund raising efforts, both directly and indirectly. Holy Trinity raised $1,300 for Butler Chapel from fund raising efforts and donations. Other donations received by the diocese for Butler Chapel included: $10,000 from Cardinal John O’Connor from the Archdiocese of New York, $2,000 from Archbishop William Levada of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and $20,000 from the Black and Indian Mission Offices from the Diocese of Syracuse.

  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate