The story of The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration begins in 1880 when The Rev. John DeWitt McCollough, of Society Hill, South Carolina came to Pace’s Gap, the small village later called Saluda, to lead the first Episcopal worship service in a room over Tanner’s Store.
Sometime that summer, McCollough and his sons, plus a group of young students from Sewanee, started building the church on land donated by local business owner, Mr. Frank Thompson. Faithful attention to detail in service to God inspired the creation of several unique interior features. The pews were hewed out of dead chestnut trees and the altar was carved out by the good priest himself and the reredos and lectern top were made from the McColloughs' mahogany dining table that had broken in one of his trips up the mountain from Spartanburg.
While The Rev. McCollough’s leadership was essential, the construction of the church was also an ecumenical labor of love that involved many Saluda natives as well as summer residents.
Finally, in 1889 the church was complete enough for the first celebration of Holy Eucharist on August 4. Two years later, the building was consecrated on September 1, 1891 by Bishop Lyman.
To read more details of the life of The Rev McCullough: www.scencyclopedia.org/sce/entries/mccollough-john-dewitt/
The Rev. McCollough once said, "Let us keep before our minds and in our hearts the truth that this is but the symbol of the spiritual house, built only by the Divine Architect."
The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration has become that symbol for generations of churchgoers. Over the years, members of the congregation have continued to dedicate their time, talent, and treasure to the ongoing care of this sacred place for the mission of extending hospitality to all in these mountains.