Our History, 1952 - 2011
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Rev. Charles Polk became pastor of North
Charleston Methodist Church in 1952. In December, completely
aware of the overall needs of the church, the charge
conference gave priority for construction of a new sanctuary
at Montague and Park Avenues.
Groundbreaking May, 1954. (From
left to right) Rev.
Feltham James, Chad Davis, Bob Bailey, ?, Rev.
Charles Polk, Oscar Smith, R.G. Bayman, Paul Pooser,
An architect, Douglas Ellington, was hired in
early 1953 to design a sanctuary seating 700 persons. Later in
1953, the Trustees were authorized to borrow $110,000 for the
church construction which was started in the same year. The
cornerstone was laid on November 28, 1954 with Rev. C.L.
Woodward, superintendent of the Charleston District,
presiding. He was assisted by Rev. Charles Polk and
representative officials. Construction was completed in early
1955 and the opening service was held on February 6, 1955 with
Bishop Costen J. Harrell presiding. The sanctuary was filled
with worshipers on this special occasion.
Rev. J. Sherwood Davis was appointed to North
Charleston Methodist Church in 1956. As the church and Sunday
school were still growing, there was an urgent need to build
educational facilities. Rev. Davis inaugurated the campaign to
raise funds for these buildings. In September 1959, the
construction of two educational buildings was completed.
Artist's conception shows how
church will look with new
educational buildings alongside of existing sanctuary.
These buildings added approximately 25,000
square feet of floor space to the existing facilities. The
Methodist Advocate reported, "These additions will give North
Charleston one of the most modern church school plants in the
Charleston District. Every classroom is both heated and
air-conditioned." At this time, church membership was between
1000 and 1100.
Rev. Robert Reynolds was pastor of North
Charleston Methodist Church from 1960-64. During his ministry,
Rev. Reynolds asked the Commission of Education to develop a
policy of requirements and qualifications for church school
On May 25, 1964 the fourth Quarterly Conference
of North Charleston United Methodist Church passed a
resolution that the fellowship hall "be hereby and forever
known as the Sherwood Davis Fellowship Hall" in memory of Rev.
Davis who had been pastor when the buildings were under
construction and completed. He died July 4, 1964 while serving
Bethlehem Methodist Church in Bishopville, SC.
In 1965, Rev. T.J. Evatt and Mr. H.A. Newton
organized the Young-in-Heart Group for senior citizens in the
church and the North Charleston Community. This group met the
first Thursday of each month for games, conversation and a
covered dish luncheon. The Young-in-Heart group discontinued
meetings in 2002, but plans are underway for its
reorganization in the near future.
Peden Gene CUrry served as minister from
1971-1974. During his pastorate the new organ was purchased
and installed in September 1971. It is a twenty-nine rank
instrument made by the Schantz Organ Company of Orville, Ohio.
It has 1624 pipes, two manuals and a pedal division. The new
organ was first used on World Wide Communion SUnday, October
In early 1972, plans were made and work started
for a Chrismon Tree for the Advent Season. Under the
leadership of Hilda and Hunter Wood, Betty Heslop along with
the Circles and Bible School Children made beautiful gold and
white religious symbols to decorate the tree. After the first
Sunday in December the tree was set up in the sanctuary and
decorated. A special service was held on December 10 for the
ceremonial lighting of more than 1000 lights on the tree. This
impressive and beautiful service with pageantry and special
choral music continues to be held every year.
In 1975, the lot next to the parsonage on
Montague Avenue was purchased to provide additional parking
spaces. May 5 of the year was Homecoming-Open House for the
church. Former pastor Dr. McKay Brabham delivered the sermon
at the morning worship service followed by a dinner on the
grounds. The closing meditation was given by Reverend Cooper
Stonestreet who had accepted the call to ministry while a
member of North Charleston United Methodist Church.
Late in 1976, during the pastorate of Reverend
DeArmond Canaday, work was begun on improving the church
facilities, including the chapel, office, conference room,
Davis Hall, sanctuary, educational buildings, and parking
areas. These improvements were completed in early 1977. An
Open House was held January 23, 1977 with Bishop Edward Tullis
delivering the sermon at the morning worship service. Later in
1977, $7800 was donated anonymously to the church. This gift
was used to purchase a 25-note Maryland Chime; the remaining
balance was used for debt retirement.
Dr. James Hunter served as minister from
1977-82. He was very instrumental in beginning an expanded
program of Christian Education. A kindergarten for four year
olds was started.
In 1977, the North Charleston United Methodist
Church Youth Fellowship was recognized by the District and
Conference as being outstanding. They went on many trips, the
ones to Lake Junaluska each summer and retreats at Camp St.
Christopher being remembered as always eventful. "Sleep-Overs"
at the church were many and always enjoyed by those attending.
Many youth were involved in district meetings at various
churches. The entire church enjoyed a "Womanless Wedding"
sponsored by the Youth. In 1979, the North Charleston Youth
Department was selected as the number one unit in the state.
February 24, 1980 was a day of joy and
reminiscence as the twenty-fifth anniversary of the building
of the current sanctuary was celebrated. Reverend Charles
Polk, minister of North Charleston United Methodist Church at
the formal opening in 1955, delivered the sermon. Following
the morning worship service, food and fellowship were enjoyed
by members and guests.
Through the years, new staff positions have been
created and filled. In 1977, Mary M. Hovis was hired as the
first Director of Religious Education, and she served in this
capacity until 1982. June Wilson was hired to replace her and
was a great asset to the entire congregation. Under her
leadership, many projects and trips were planned and carried
out by the Youth. Also, there were planned outings for the
"seniors" of the church. In 1988 Mrs. Cathy Brewer became the
Director of Christian Education.
In March of 1990, another new staff position was
created, when Reverend Paul Petty became the Minister of
Visitation and Evangelism. He quickly stole the hearts of the
entire congregation as well as the day care staff and
children. His "Paul's Patter" in the church's monthly
newsletter was enjoyed by all. His visits to sht-ins, his
words of comfort and prayers were greatly appreciated. He
served North Charleston United Methodist Church in this
position until his death in February of 2004. He is truly
Rev. William W. McNeill was pastor from 1985-91.
During this time the church again experienced a growth in
membership. The Daycare was started and became an outreach to
the community. The enclosure joining the sanctuary and
Building A was also completed. On September 22, 1989,
Hurricane Hugo slammed into Charleston, SC causing massive
damage in which the church lost its steeple and much damage
was done to the chapel. In spite of their own hardships, the
congregation banded together to serve meals, give out canned
food, water, clothing and bedding materilas until the
community could get back on its feet.
Mrs. Elizabeth Vickery
Over the years, many persons have been
instrumental in the establishment of programs and whose
services to North Charleston United Methodist Church are
exemplary. It is impossible to list them all, but one stands
out deserving mention. Mrs. Elizabeth Vickery served as
chairperson of Social Concerns for over forty years. Her
service was performed in a true Christian spirit. Church
members would donate canned and packaged grocery products and
Mrs. Vickery would see that this food got to those in the
community who were most in need. She did not drive and
depended on friends to transport her to the homes of people
she helped. There were numerous times when transportation was
not available, and she walked to her destination. She was a
beloved member of both the church and the community.
Dr. Harlan Wilson served as minister in this
church during the years 1991-1994. During these years Dr.
Wilson was a great supporter of the youth. There were Variety
Shows that everybodyenjoyed. He also was instrumental in
beginning a study of the neighborhood around the church and
projecting what the future could bring.
Rev. David Spivey served North Charleston
United Methodist Church for one year. The new stage in Davis
Hall was built during that time.
Crane setting new steeple in place
Rev. Robert Morris was appointed to North
Charleston United Methodist Church in 1995 and served until
2001. During his ministry, money was raised by Potpourri and
through special gifts to rebuild the steeple. The steeple was
replaced in 1998.
Rev. Ellwood H. Wiggins served North Charleston
United Methodist Church from 2001-07. He introduced new
programs, new forms of worship and led inspiring study
During this time the congregation celebrated the
50th Anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. When the
cornerstone was laid in 1954, a sealed copper box containing
artifacts relative to the times was placed inside. To
commemorate the setting of the cornerstone, Rev. Wiggins led
the dedication of a Spiritual Cornerstone for the next fifty
years. The Spiritual Cornerstone is a faith chest similar to
ones given to the church's children at baptism. It was filled
with artifacts and symbols of truth or ingredients of a
Spiritual Foundation for North Charleston United Methodist
Church for the next half century. Items were placed in the
chest by representatives of Sunday School Classes and other
groups in the church family. Both chests will be opened on
November 28, 2054 AD at 12:30 p.m. in memory of those who
labored to erect and preserve this great structure.
Rev. David S. Smith was appointed to our church in June 2007.
Rev. Wendy Hudson-Jacoby was appointed to our church in June 2011.