In Wilmington, North Carolina last week, a community gathered for the reveal of contents of a 108-year old time capsule that was buried at a former church in town. For some residents, the time capsule itself was exciting to see, but it was also special that the ceremony brought together a small group of parishioners who hadn't seen each other in years. Ken O'Quinn had been a member of the former Pearsall Memorial Presbyterian Church for 70 years. O'Quinn told WWAY News that the time capsule provided a chance to appreciate its history, but to also visit with long-time friends in the church. He said, "I was kind of excited to see what was in it. Of course, the congregation, not a lot of them left, but several of them are here today, and that was one of the reasons, to see what came out of that."
The church had their last service in 2019 before it was bought by PBC Design Build. The firm's founder, Dave Spetrino said it was important to find the 1913 time capsule set in the church's cornerstone. He says, "One thing that kept coming up over and over again, was kind of this myth that there was a time capsule that we needed to make sure we found." Spetrino says they located the capsule last month but waited to open it, until parishioners had a chance to get to the church for the reveal. Of the time capsule opening last week, Spetrino said, "We've resisted the temptation to take a peek. We're going to sit tight until some of the parishioners are able to make it over to our open house. We'll let them kind of go through and see what they find. Hopefully, it'll be a good adventure."
And it was. Ken O'Quinn was happy to see the opening of the time capsule with his fellow parishioners. He says, "...until I found out about this one, I never expected to be party to one being opened." Inside, residents found newspapers from the early 1900s and handwritten letters from church-goers long ago. Builders assured the community that the church will not be torn down, just repurposed.