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Jun 18, 2012 | Alison Sawyer

St. Andrew's Celebrates 100 Years in Downtown Bryan

Cornerstone St. Andrew'sTo Christians, “cornerstone” is the key metaphor for Christ himself, meaning that He is the foundation and guiding principle of our faith.  The word “cornerstone” is mentioned frequently in scripture, usually in reference to Christ.


Today cornerstones are both functional and symbolic. In early architecture, the cornerstone was the single most important building block because how it was set determined the level and alignment of all other courses of brick or stone in the building.  Of course contemporary architects have many sophisticated techniques and technological innovations at their disposal for maintaining the true “plumb” of a building, but a cornerstone still marks the birth of a significant civic or religious building constructed of stone or brick.  The date inscribed on a cornerstone indicates the date the stone was laid and is, therefore, the “birthday” of the building.  Most modern cornerstones have a hollow center in which significant objects are placed before the stone is set into place with mortar, creating a kind of time capsule.


The commemoration of a cornerstone does not involve removing the stone to find out what is inside. The cornerstone is an integral component of the stability and integrity of the structure and cannot be removed.  Instead, when we celebrate a cornerstone, we are simply celebrating or commemorating the birth of the building.


"We are fortunate at St. Andrew’s because we do know the contents of the cornerstone," notes St. Andrew's archivist, Dr. Sylvia Grider.   According to an article in the May 29, 1912 edition of The Eagle, “The contents include the names of all vestrymen and presidents of the various parish organizations, architects, contractor and building committee; copy of daily paper, prayer book and Hymnal, Bible and coins made in 1912.”  These items are in a sealed box inside the cornerstone. On May 27, 2012 St. Andrew's will celebrate the centennial of the laying of the cornerstone, which marks the 100th birthday of the present church building. 


"We look forward to many years of mission and ministry in this community,” notes the Rev. Dr. Sean Cox, Rector of St. Andrew's.