With an MBA from USC, 15 years with AT&T, and a tech background, Bill Fitzpatrick might not seem like the kind of guy who would dedicate years of his life to the preservation of small-town religious sites in South Carolina…but he is. And thank goodness!

When given the opportunity to take a few years away from the business world, Bill began a journey of exploration and research that quickly ignited a passion for history, travel, photography, and literature that had been growing since his childhood. This wasn’t his first tour – he once rode his bike across the country with a friend “just for the heck of it” and had already published several books and columns on travel and small-town America.

Having lived in Charleston, Columbia, and now Greenville, South Carolina, Bill admits that he “never much thought of the history or people that are in places like Abbeville, Cheraw, or Daufuskie.” But as he traveled, he realized that “too many of these places that were once the center of every community and so much of our history are now at risk,” without any support from the government and very limited economic support from mainstream religious denominations.

What began as a hobby – visiting, photographing, and learning about forgotten historic landmarks – turned into a dozen stories for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a 264-page coffee table book. People were so enamored with his “scrapbook” that he was soon looking for avenues to share his work. That’s when he found Mike Bedenbaugh and Preservation SC. A newly-created Sacred Spaces Fund and 1,000 copies later, Bill’s book South Carolina’s Sacred Spaces is now in its second printing! Proceeds from the book are already helping save these precious sites, like the major steeple renovation happening now at Trinity of Abbeville. The communities and congregations who love these spaces are forever grateful to Bill and his work with Preservation SC. And so are we.

“Bill has given us a sacred book and one for the ages.”

-Tom Poland, Author, recipient of the 2018 “Order of the Palmetto”

“What Bill Fitzpatrick and Mike Bedenbaugh and Preservation South Carolina are trying to do in the 21st century is help to preserve the texture and the spirit of rural South Carolina. Whether it’s the Lower Long Cane Presbyterian Church or Trinity Episcopal Church in Abbeville, these buildings reflect generations of communities; communities which are beginning to disappear…”

-Dr. Walter Edgar, “Walter Edgar’s Journal”