After nearly two years, the congregation of Trawick Presbyterian Church is finally home again.

The congregation dedicated its new sanctuary and fellowship hall Sunday, the second service in the white steepled church that replaces one destroyed by fire in October 2019.

“This is a red letter day if there ever was one,” said the Rev. David O’Neal, pastor of Trawick Presbyterian.

O’Neal stressed during his sermon that the spirt of the church extends beyond its walls, which was evident as the congregation temporarily met at the community fire station.

“It has been quite a year with the pandemic and our church and place of worship burning down,” O’Neal said. “This is a congregation who has had their veneer stripped away, literally the building stripped away.”

The pews were nearly full for Sunday’s dedication service led by church elders and O’Neal, and people packed into the adjoining fellowship hall for a hearty lunch afterward.

“It’s a lot more building than we’re used to,” said church elder Mike Russell.

Member of the congregation are hoping for a full house again later this month as they host an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 27.

Most of the furnishings and a pulpit bible believed to be from sometime around the 1880s were donated by First Presbyterian Church of Rusk, which O’Neal also pastors.

Russell leafed through the Holman Edition Bible before the ceremony, and read the dedication prayer for the book as it was placed in its new home on the pulpit.

“The one we had burned up,” he said before the service.

The new building is the fourth used by the church, which also once housed a Methodist congregation.

Retired pastor the Rev. Jean Ferraro, who once led the Methodist congregation in Trawick, also participated in the dedication.

The community and the church are named after John R. Trawick, who furnished land for the town’s site around 1900. In 1914, Trawick had a Methodist and a Presbyterian Church, and by 1929 there was a post office, lumber mill, cotton gin, physician and a population of 300.

The collapse of the cotton industry, the Great Depression, and the end of World War II saw the decline of Trawick and the closing of the few remaining businesses.

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