If the current congregation inside the historic church at 43 Wentworth St. can raise the $1.6 million to buy the property, then it would give a conservation easement to ensure the church would never be converted into a home.

That’s what Rev. Craig Bailey of Redeemer Presbyterian Church said today as he, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and other preservation and religious leaders launched a fund drive.

The former St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church and its educational building were poised to be sold to a local businesswoman who planned to renovate them into residences and office space.

When Charleston City Councilman Blake Hallman pushed to repeal a zoning variance, the buyer, St. Andrew’s and others struck a compromise to postpone the sale and give Redeemer a few months to prove they can match the $1.6 million sales price.

“Being the last congregation in this building is not a designation we desire,” Bailey said. “We don’t want to say we were the last congregation to sing ‘Silent Night’ here.”

Contributions may be made through the website HolyCityCharleston.org, which is set to go live soon.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.