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Historic Germantown Church arrives in Chapel Hill

Posted December 8, 2012

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— A historic church building finished a weeklong trip Saturday, arriving in Chapel Hill after a sojourn down the back roads of North Carolina.

The Rev. Lisa Fischbeck, vicar of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill, which formed nine years ago, said that the journey of the structure resembles what the church has become.

“We've been nomadic. We've had to rent worship space,” Fischbeck said. “So this begins a way that we can have our own space and place to worship and welcome people."

The building is the former Saint Philip's Episcopal Church, which stood for 121 years in the Germanton community north of Winston-Salem. It arrived Saturday, riding behind a big-rig on a trailer.

"We give thanks to you, lord God, for this, Saint Philip’s chapel, having made its successful journey," Fischbeck said.

Nobody had worshipped in the building for many years, so the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina decided to move the building to the new location in Chapel Hill.

"It has a lot of history,” said worshiper Celisa Steele. “It's important to us, and meaningful to us, to have that history and to keep celebrating the purpose of the chapel."

The church building load was 26 feet wide, easily covering two lanes of traffic, and it never traveled more than 30 mph.

Church leaders say it will likely be summer before the building is ready for the congregation of about 150 people to move in.

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  • Grand Union Dec 10, 12:33 p.m.

    Would have made a nice house.....still better it gets reused as a church in Chapel hill than getting demolished.
    Its great how they can move these old buildings......

  • davidk_at_unc Dec 10, 10:07 a.m.

    Yeh, I passed it too, on Hwy 86 in Hillsborough! I'm curious as to what route it took.

  • davido Dec 10, 9:27 a.m.

    I saw this on my way home Saturday AM. They waved me ahead of the church-on-wheels, but I almost wanted to just sit and watch. Something you don't see everyday!