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Frequently asked questions

Leak remediation

How did the leaks get this bad? Over the years, obvious leaks have been addressed in different ways. Sampling of the Vestry minutes show that in 1997, the approach was to repair some of the mortar (tuckpointing) on the outside of the Sanctuary and add a silicone seal. Minutes note that if the approach worked, it would need to be repeated every five years. Minutes from July 1998 report that the tuckpointing was finished and “we’re dry everywhere.” However, minutes from 2012 show the leaks were back and the Vestry approved applying a waterproofing material to the stone, which worked for a while. The November 2012 minutes note that the church would need to continue to “waterproof as money allows.”

Holy Trinity has never had a large maintenance endowment, so repairs like these were funded as part of annual budgets or from small capital reserve funds, which meant only small fixes could be applied in any year.

When the leaks continued to get worse, as evidenced by damage to the walls inside the Sanctuary, the 2020 Vestry commissioned an in-depth study by an engineering firm to pinpoint the true source of the leaks. Past capital campaigns have funded maintenance in other parts of the campus: an early 1990s campaign addressed water in the undercroft (the offices under the sanctuary) and the 2017 campaign took care of long-time issues in the Parish House such as replacing windows and roofing repair. No previous capital campaign has raised money to solve the leaks in the Sanctuary.


What professionals did the Vestry engage to help? SKA Engineering Consultants did the study to determine the cause of the leaks. SKA is a local engineering firm in business since 1957 and was known as Sutton-Kennerly Associates until 2012 when the name was changed to reflect the broad services the company provides.


What did the engineers find? The engineers reviewed the global building envelope to identify and prioritize repairs or maintenance items that may be required to halt and prevent water penetration into the building. Their chief findings were:

  • The engineers recommended extensive repair of the slate roofs. The Vestry hired Century Slate, slate roof specialists, who said the roof on the 1949 Sanctuary was in great shape minus some needed repairs, which the Vestry commissioned, using money from a small capital reserve fund. The chapel’s 1922 roof also got some repairs to maintain its integrity, but, at some point in the future, that roof will need to be replaced when repairs can no longer prolong its useful life.

  • The joints for the coping stones (the stones that cap the walls of the Sanctuary building) have lead covers, which are known to allow water between joints. Contractors will remove many coping stones to properly flash the parapet walls, which will include removing sections of slate roofing to integrate flashing systems. They will then reinstall the coping stones and use silicone sealant to waterproof the joints.

  • The head flashing (intended to prevent water from leaking in at the joint between the bottom edge of stone and the top of the window) at the windows in the stone walls have weep tubes installed above the stone lintel. There appears to have been an attempt at flashing, but the weep tubes were installed below the flashing and direct water under the flashing and into the building. Contractors will install functional flashing at all window head locations.

  • Mortar joints between the exterior stones are showing signs of deterioration in places, which reduce the mortar’s ability to resist water penetration. Contractors will repoint the joints where most needed.

  • There is a contingency built into the Vestry’s water remediation budget in the event that we discover damage inside the walls.

  • There are several areas where there is a low-pitch roof where water ponds after a rain. These roofs will be replaced, and the slope changed where necessary.

  • There is significant leaking where the 1990s addition ties into the 1949 Sanctuary building. The altar wall shows significant distress in the interior plaster. There is obvious leaking around the chimney in Worth Parlor. Degraded roof flashing is suspected of being the source of these leaks and will be replaced.

  • There are leaks near Broome Hall under the chapel. Exterior wood trim will be removed so that waterproofing can be installed and the surface drain line cleared.

  • There are signs of leaks in the chapel, perhaps because holes in the exterior stucco were sealed, which resulted in weeps being blocked and holding water in the stucco. Wood trim will be removed and waterproofing added.


When will the project start and how long will it take? Work to stop the leaks will start in September 2022. The Vestry voted to sign a contract before the campaign started since we had about $900,000 in hand and so that the contractor could put us in queue. The contract to repair the leaks is for $1,238,335, which did not include contingency funds, so the vestry elected to budget $2 million for that.


How did you choose the contractor? SKA Consulting Engineers, a local company who did the analysis to pinpoint the sources of leaks, developed a detailed scope of work to bid out. We are fortunate that our Junior Warden, Brett Hacker, is an experienced project manager. Brett and Michael Thomas, the previous Junior Warden, worked with SKA to refine and bid the project.  SKA received three competitive bids. With Brett’s guidance, the Vestry voted to award the contract to Miraje Construction and Development, a local firm that specializes in building façade restoration, waterproofing and sealants, specialized waterproofing solutions, and concrete and masonry restoration. Miraje has done previous work at Holy Trinity and knows our buildings. Two construction lawyers have reviewed the contract.


Why is this such a quick campaign? Once the Vestry got the contractors’ bids, it was spring of 2022. The choice was to do an immediate campaign or to wait until January 2023, after the Annual Giving campaign. Rector David Umphlett had conversations with a variety of parishioners, many of whom had supported the last campaign, and there was support for solving the leaks as soon as possible. Because there was already about $900,000 in hand for the project and the leaks were only getting worse, the Vestry voted to move ahead with a very quick campaign.


Why $4 million and how will it be spent? At its June 2022 meeting, the Vestry approved the $4 million goal based on need and the capacity to achieve it. Rector David Umphlett had preliminary conversations with a range of parishioners and there was widespread support for finally getting the leaks fixed and for establishing an endowment to fund more regular maintenance. The Vestry approved this budget:

  • $2 million for water remediation (this includes a contingency budget)

  • $1.2-1.5 million for endowment in the Holy Trinity Foundation

  • $500,000-$800,000 for interior restoration

With these priorities:

  • First: fix the leaks completely

  • Second: repair the plaster and paint on the interior (only white paint at this stage in the project)

  • Third: put at least $1.2 million in the endowment

  • Fourth: fund interior restoration recommended and prioritized by the Restoration Committee as remaining funds allow

  • Fifth: pay the operating budget back for SKA engineering drawings and efforts to date.


Why is this campaign important? Hear what parishioners have to say about the campaign in this video.

Interior restoration

What experts have we called in to help with this project? We have hired Terry Byrd Eason as a consultant. Terry is a Chapel Hill-based architect and specialist in liturgical design. His website notes, “Our goal is to help congregations identify and address their present needs, envision potential future needs, and then create well-designed spaces that respond in terms of function, visual strength, lighting, color, ornament, acoustics and detail.“ His firm has consulted with hundreds of churches, including Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill, Christ Church in Raleigh, and Washington National Cathedral. Learn more about Terry’s work at


What inside changes are we talking about? The most obvious is repairing the water-damaged walls in the four corners of the sanctuary and in both sacristies. At a minimum, that will involve plaster work and repainting. We have hired Terry Byrd Eason, an architect who specializes in liturgical spaces, to study the original architectural plans and make recommendations. His preliminary thoughts are to:

  • Use the vision of the 1949 parishioners and architects by restoring stenciling on the altar wall.

  • Install a stone floor in the nave. That feature was cut in favor of carpet in 1949 when bids for construction came in high. A stone floor would be a long-lasting finish and would significantly enhance acoustics in the space.

  • Move the altar out from the reredos so that so that it can be used as the Lord’s Table and priests can celebrate the Eucharist standing behind it and facing the people.

  • Move the stone baptismal font to the center aisle at the back of the nave, as it is in traditional Gothic churches, on which Holy Trinity is modeled.

  • Terry may have other recommendations. The Restoration Committee will consider all of them and make a recommendation to the Vestry for final approval.

Who will determine the goals and priorities of interior work? The Vestry has appointed a Restoration Committee who will meet with Terry Eason several times over the next year. Terry will recommend changes and finishes (paint color, stone, etc.). The Restoration Committee will then prioritize the projects based on the success of the campaign and make a recommendation to the Vestry, who will vote on the recommendations. Restoration Committee members are the Rector David Umphlett, Senior Warden Harriette Knox, Junior Warden Brett Hacker, and parishioners Phillip Dalton, Missy Field, Hank Hackett, and Ann Vaughn.


How were the Restoration Committee members chosen? The Vestry wanted a variety of people on the committee: long-time and newer parishioners, people who were experienced leaders and those who have the potential to be parish leaders, people with specific experience such as Altar Guild service and people with an interest in art and architecture, people with an appreciation of the history of Holy Trinity and people with a fresh perspective. Three were appointed because of their position: the Rector and two Wardens. Restoration Committee members are: The Rev. David Umphlett, Rector; Harriette Knox, Senior Warden; Brett Hacker, Junior Warden; Phillip Dalton; Missy Fields; Hank Hackett; and Ann Vaughn.


What’s the timing on interior work?  While the exterior work is going on, the Restoration Committee will work with the church architect to decide what to recommend to the Vestry. When the outside work is done, the engineers will come back and run various tests to be sure the moisture in the walls is gone. Once we are sure that the problem is taken care of, interior work can begin – ideally in the summer of 2023, when attendance is light and we can worship in the chapel, Haywood Duke Room, or the Patterson Terrace.



How will a maintenance endowment help? If we put $1.5 million in a maintenance endowment within the Foundation, at an average rate of market return, taking 4% a year of a twelve-quarter rolling average, we would have $60,000 to spend on maintenance every year; taking 5% a year we would have $75,000 a year. That is money that will be available every year in perpetuity to stay on top of maintenance issues as they crop up. The goal is to start the maintenance endowment with $1.5 million and increase it over time as we will need a sizeable endowment to cover the inevitable repairs and special maintenance that will arise over time given the age of our buildings.


How much is in the endowment? There is about $1.8 million in the Holy Trinity Foundation, but only the earnings of $1.2 million contribute to the annual budget because some money is designated for specific things, such as the Price Scholarship. Currently the Foundation contributes about $40,000 a year to the operating budget. Holy Trinity’s endowment is on the low side for churches our size. St. Paul’s in Winston Salem has about $4 million in total endowment. Holy Trinity will need a large endowment – particularly for maintenance – to keep up with the needs of our aging campus.


Who oversees the endowment? Holy Trinity’s endowment is managed by the Holy Trinity Foundation, a legally separate entity from the parish governed by its own board of directors. The Foundation board is chaired by the Senior Warden and includes Vestry representatives and parishioners. Current board members are: Will DuBose, Tom Duncan, Amy Klass, Harriette Knox, Trude McCarty, Virginia Saslow, Dodson Schenck, and David Worth.



Campaign and finance

We just had a capital campaign in 2017. Why do we need another one? The Capital Gifts Initiative in 2017 raised close to $7 million chiefly to: renovate and update the Parish House including improved energy efficiency, add the covered walkway and terrace, add parking and landscaping, and address water issues in the Parish House. All Saints’ Chapel was refreshed with paint and carpeting and the altar wall in the church was painted. That campaign did not address water problems in the Sanctuary, the scope and severity of which were looming, but were not as obvious or critical as they have become over the last few years.


How did you come up with $4 million goal? There are three parts to the campaign:

  1. The contract with Miraje for water remediation is a little over $1.2 million. Allowing for a continency for surprises we may find in the walls and for the current wild fluctuations in the cost of materials, the Vestry thought it prudent to increase the number to $2 million.

  2. It is vitally important that Holy Trinity start to build its endowment. There is about $1.8 million in the Holy Trinity Foundation, but only the earnings of $1.2 million contribute to the annual budget because some money is designated for specific things, such as the Price Scholarship. While initially considering a $1 million investment in the endowment, the Vestry felt the timing was right to stress the importance of investing for the future and try to raise $1.2 - 1.5 million to help secure the church’s future.

  3. Because we don’t know what the Restoration Committee will recommend for interior changes, the Rector and Junior Warden, with input from church architect Terry Byrd Eason and some vendors, estimated $500,0000 - $800,000 for interior work.


Is there a contingency budget? Yes, a healthy contingency is built into the $2 million for water remediation. See the question above.


Are we going to have capital campaigns every five years? Holy Trinity will have building needs and our aging campus requires constant maintenance, so future campaigns are possible, particularly in raising money for the endowment. Past capital campaigns were in 1949, 1960, 1991, and 2017.


What else should be endowed? Anything could be endowed, but our current priorities include a music endowment and a maintenance endowment.


Rector David Umphlett has pointed out that if we had $3 million in a music endowment, it would pay for the large marjority of the music operating budget, including eight professional section leaders at two services every Sunday in perpetuity.


While our goal is to add at least $1.2 million to a maintenance endowment, a total of $3-$5 million would ensure maintenance issues could be addressed forever.


The current youth endowment, seeded by gifts to the Robert Payne Youth House campaign, will be about $300,000 when pledges are paid and will produce enough to cover everything in Holy Trinity’s youth ministry budget except the director’s salary. If that fund were larger, it would cover the director’s salary also.


Permanently funding items like maintenance and music through endowments would free up annual giving pledges to go to outreach and mission, but also give Holy Trinity the security of knowing our vision and mission will live for generations to come.


Can a Second Century Campaign pledge be paid over time? Yes, pledges can be paid over three years -- 2022, 2023, and 2024 -- and do not have to be in equal installments.


How will the Second Century Campaign affect annual giving? Annual giving and capital giving are completely different, and the Vestry is confident that the parish will recognize different goals of each.

The Second Century Campaign is a focused effort to raise funds to make essential repairs to our buildings, which cannot be accomplished through the annual budget. The campaign goals are to stop the leaks, build a maintenance endowment so that earnings can pay for future regular maintenance, and restore the interior spaces (adding back elements originally intended such as stone floors if funds allow).

The Annual Giving Campaign runs September to December every year and funds the annual operating budget, which covers the day-to-day expenses associated with running Holy Trinity as well as funding ministries and activities that further our mission. Your faithful annual giving of treasure as well as time and talent, are essential to the vitality of the church.


What is Holy Trinity’s current operating budget for 2022? The 2022 budget projects income of $1.758 million, which reflects $1.6 million in collectible pledges; $40,000 from the endowment; $60,000 in estimated and unexpected special gifts; $17,000 from plate offerings; and a small amount from rentals for building use.


What is church membership? We have about 2,300 individuals from 1,100 households who consider themselves members.


What is Holy Trinity’s financial status? Holy Trinity owns all the property on our block except one and currently carries no debt. The Holy Trinity Foundation, while smaller than peer churches, has about $1.8 million in assets.


Who will oversee the project? Oversight includes the Rector, the Vestry, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Restoration Committee, and the Parish Administrator.

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