This delightful country church was built in 1888 in rural Advance, NC. After a new sanctuary was built next door in the late 1960's, the building sat vacant and had suffered severe deterioration when my partner and I began work in the mid 1980's. The roof had massive leaks in several places, rotting the floor in many areas. The belfry and steeple were severely rotten, and shortly after work began, a strong spring rain washed away a portion of the foundation where an existing furnace room had undermined the foundation. Nearly half of the side wall collapsed, taking with it two of the lancet windows.
We began by replacing the asphalt shingle roof. We determined by the placement of nail holes that the roof likely had a metal shingle roof originally. The roof deck was repaired -- a difficult task because the single layer of sheathing was also the interior finished surface. Kynar finished shingles were installed by a roofing contractor, while we repaired the eaves. Finally, the eaves brackets were restored or replaced. (Later on, we unearthed an original shingle that had the exact stamping pattern of the new shingles we chose.)
We found a brickmason who understood the problems working with an old brick building to restore the fallen wall section. He re-used as much of the existing brick as possible, and excavated the rest from interior sections of the walls. The walls were rebuilt using soft lime mortar, and the repaired lancet windows were reinstalled.
Too much of the belfry framing had rotted to save it, so we built a new frame on the ground. A crane removed the existing steeple and belfry. The old belfry was dropped from the steeple, and the existing steeple was placed on the new framing. My partner installed new louvers, siding and trim, while I replaced the old tin covering on the steeple with terne coated stainless. A local TV crew filmed when the completed steeple and belfry were lifted by crane and re-set on the church.













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