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Then they believed his promises,

and sang his praise.

Psalm 106:12

Home › Get to Know Us › Our History

Our History, 1952 - 2011

Page  1  2

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,
Leonard Ripley.

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 teachers.

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 3, 1971.

Chrismon Tree

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 missed.

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 courses.

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.

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