In 1921, a group of Methodists living West of the Ashley River decided that there was a need for a Methodist church in their community as the closest was in the city of Charleston. They began as the Charleston Mission and met in a one-room school building located on Savannah Highway.
In 1923, members began soliciting donations for a church building. On June 14, 1926, the Methodist Conference purchased a tract of land on Savannah Highway for $900. The Mission became known as St. Andrews Parish United Methodist Episcopal Church South. The congregation was very small, but it was the only active Methodist church in the parish at that time.
On November 9, 1935, a new lot was purchased near Pierpont (2543 Ashley River Road). Pierpont was the most populated area West of the Ashley and an ideal location for a growing church. Frances Murray sold the lot for $100. Ollie Flood (one of the Mission's original founders), J.O.M Murray and C.A. Knight formed a building committee, and construction was funded with donations and chicken dinner fundraisers. During construction, members met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Murray.
St. Andrews Parish United Methodist Church officially opened its doors in 1936, and Reverend J.E. James was the first minister. The congregation only had 50 members at the time. The church made several additions (in 1939, 1955 and the early 1960s), and church members completed all of the work themselves.
The church simply had no room to grow by the late 1970s, but the Methodist Conference already owned land near Shadowmoss. Congregation members requested the land for the purpose of a larger building. Their request was granted, and a new building committee formed in 1986. The old property sold in 1990, and church members rented four classrooms and the cafeteria at, what was then, Drayton Hall Middle School for Sunday morning worship.
On December 22, 1991, the congregation journeyed to the new property (3225 Ashley River Road) for "Groundbreaking Day." The building was completed the following year, and the first worship service was held August 16, 1992. The church was consecrated by Bishop Bethea on October 25, 1992.
A New Chapter
The Ashley River Road Bike Path opened in 2007, connecting Bees Ferry Road to Village Green and everything in between, including St. Andrews Parish United Methodist Church. We've embraced our new identity as the "church on the path." This is, of course, a reference to our physical location, but it also speaks to our spiritual journey. May our hearts remain humble as we press forward—sharing God's abundant love with a growing community and trusting fully that He will lead us at every step along the way.