A Purpose For Gathering
In March 1940, Mrs. Gardner started a Sunday school class for children in the area. They met on Wednesday afternoons in her grocery store on Wappoo Road. In the summer of 1941, Mrs. Gardner started a prayer group for the mothers of the children. From Mrs. Gardner’s Sunday school, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Ashley River Baptist, and First Baptist St. Andrews Parish were born!
In 1943, The Home Missions Emergency Fund of the Charleston Presbytery financed the lot at 712 Wappoo Road, as well as the church and Sunday school building. Work on the building started in the fall of 1943. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was charted in 1944 with 24 members by the Charleston Presbytery (now the Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery.)
The first installed pastor of St. Andrew’s was Ed Overcash. The first pianist and organist was Eunice Thompson, mother of Mary Hillson and Margaret Tolls. In the early years, to provide heat for the Sunday services, Calvin Dupont came to church hours before anyone else to start the fire in the coal stove.
The church purchased an educational building, with the first section arriving on Monday, June 26, 1950. The building was formerly used as an army hospital in North Charleston during WWII. To move it to St. Andrew’s it was transported down the Ashley River on a barge! Then it was brought by truck to Wappoo Road by Mr. Chitwood, a member of the congregation.
In 1950, St. Andrew’s also began a weekday school. The current sanctuary was completed in 1960 and is designed to seat 520 persons. The pastor during this building phase was the Reverend Herman Womeldorf. Church membership at this time was 580 members. In 1968, St. Andrew’s built a new education building. It was first used for vacation bible school, July 13-21, 1968. Now it is used for many programs and activities.
December 1, 1997, The Reverend George F. “Spike” Coleman, Jr. became the 8th pastor of St. Andrew’s. We are all blessed to have him as our pastor!