A lawsuit filed by the breakaway Diocese of South Carolina against The Episcopal Church — a move to retain control of property and protect the name and seal of the group — was joined today by 15 additional parishes, bringing the total number of congregations participating in the litigation to 31, according to a news release.

The suit was first filed January 4 and included 16 congregations.

An additional 13 congregations have decided to stay with the group associated with Bishop Mark Lawrence, called The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, according to its administrators.

One of the parishes joining the suit is Trinity Church of Edisto Island, formed in 1774.

“In 1786, our parish was among the original signers of the constitution for the Diocese of South Carolina,” said the Rev. Wey Camp, rector of Trinity Church, in a statement. “Today, we commit the parish to remaining with the only diocese we have ever known. While The Episcopal Church has moved away from the fundamental beliefs of Anglicanism, the Diocese remains unwavering — as do we.”

More congregations join lawsuit against Episcopal Church