Jerusalem AME Church
Evolving out of the need to worship God as they saw fit, Blacks while in slavery would “steal away” in solitude and congregate under “bush tents” for church services. The patriarch of the early church had an abiding faith in God and worshipped him even in the face of reprisal and punishment from their masters.
From these bush tents evolved more structured churches. Thus began the Jerusalem AME Church. While the exact date of its organization is unknown, official records list the deeding of the land upon which the present structure is situated as June 17, 1879. On this date, Nathaniel and Maria H. Hayward conveyed to June White, Sancho Sheppard and Philip Manigo, Trustees of Jerusalem AME, “parcel of land shaped in a square containing 300 feet.” The property was deeded to the church by the Hayward’s “in consideration of their desire to promote the extension of the Christian religion.” The deed to the property is to remain in force “so long as the said granted premises shall be used for the worship of Almighty God, and the promotion of the Christian religion and for no other purpose whatsoever.”
The next recorded date was the dedication of the church structure in 1898. The pastor of the church at that time was Rev. G.W. Hill and the officers included Prince Cattle, T. Richards, and Isaiah Kelly. Thomas Boles and Zap Perry. What occurred during the intervening years since the deeding of the property up to the 1898 date is unknown; however, the church was built with members providing the labor. The church was a magnificent edifice for it’s time. It was a two story wood framed structure with a balcony upstairs. All of the moldings and columns were hand craved by the members as well as the pews. This structure was indeed a cornerstone of the community.
Records do not reveal the size of the membership but the trustees at the time the structure was built included: Jackie Milton, Eli Perry, Joe Cattle, Tom Holmes, Thomas Richards, and Thomas Boles.
The structure withstood the test of time and remained until it was damaged by hurricane Gracie in 1959. Under the leadership of Rev. Andrew Hugine, Sr. the church was rebuilt and dedicated in 1961. Ministers serving prior to Rev. Hugine were:
The 1961 structure was a blend of the old and the new. The church was constructed of blocks and the lumber salvaged from the old structure was used for the wood-work. During the construction period, from 1959 to 1961, the following officers served the church:
By 1965, the church membership had expanded, and the trustee board included, in addition to the 1961 membership, Charlie Cattle, James Holmes, Solomon Bolds, and Isaiah Hamilton, Jr.
Rev. Andrew Hugine, Sr. served as pastor of Jerusalem AME for a period of 27 years, from 1959 until
his untimely death in 1986 with his wife following shortly thereafter. During this period, great advancements were made. Believing that the youth should play an integral part in the Church, a Junior Church was organized along with choir and usher board. The organization has provided an excellent forum for the young people, not only to be involved in the church work, but learn about the church.
During the Hugine years, three choirs existed, the origins of which can be traced back to the efforts of Mrs. Irene Hugine. The three choirs were the Senior Choir, Young Adult Choir and Sunbeam Choir. Today, the Senior and Young Adult Choirs have combined and a Youth Choir provides selection on the 3rd Sundays and for special programs.
In addition to building the present structure, the Church’s physical structure has undergone significant changes. The church was completely renovated to include outside brick work, installation of oak hardwood floor, furniture and pews, light fixtures, the installation of a central heat and air conditioning system, and the construction of a fellowship hall. All of the work was completed by 1981, and a re-dedication of the church was held during that year, with the re-dedication sermon being delivered by Bishop Frank Madison Reid, Jr.
The pews in the church were purchased by individual members, some of them in memory of loved ones, and two concrete plaques and metal plaque at the front of the church bear the names of dedicated members who contributed to the building of the church structure and the later renovations.
The Hugine years were not concerned with structural changes only. During his tenure, with the help of Almighty God, the membership, and his devoted wife, who served as a class leader, member of the choir, and steward board, attention was given to the spiritual needs of the members as well. Revival meetings were commonplace, weekly bible classes and prayer meetings were held, the church is in union with a number of the congregations within the area, and the number of young people going on to higher education has more than doubled due to their emphasis on education.
With the passing of Rev. Hugine, Rev. Willie Loyd was assigned to the white Hall Circuit in October, 1986. Rev. Loyd with the assistance of his wife, Mrs. Loyd, continued the progressive direction of the church and built and expanded upon the foundation already in place.
Shortly after his arrival, the Irene Hugine Memorial Education Fund was established to foster and perpetuate her ideals of education and in recognition of her untiring efforts in the area of education. Since 1986, an annual program has been held, and more than $25,000 has been raised to assist college students of the church and community. In addition to the education Fund, the mortgage on the church was retired.
Improvements on the physical structure of the church continued. In preparation for the District Conference, the interior and exterior of the church were repainted and new carpeting was installed. To further enhance the structure, stain glass windows were installed. These windows, costing about $10,000, were purchased by various families in memory of their loved ones. On August 20, 1989, a Combined Mortgage Burning and dedication Service was held, with the presiding elder of the Beaufort District, Rev. Lavern Stevenson Bringing the message. The services were a tribute to the late Rev. and Mrs. Andrew Hugine, Sr. for their many years of untiring devotion and service to the community and the White Hall Circuit.
In October, 1996 after serving ten years, Rev. Willie Loyd was assigned to St. Mark AME Church in Ravenel, SC. Rev. Robert K. White, Sr. became pastor of the church in October, 1996. Under Rev. White’s leadership, with the assistance of his wife, Mrs. Carolyn White, the church has grown both spiritually and financially. The Bible class has been re-instituted and weekly prayer services with Rev. White serving as the principal instructor and leader. Vacation Bible School is held each year and there has been a re-emphasis on the active involvement of young people in the church. The White family with their three sons has re-energized the church for the work of the Lord and the ministries of the church. Rev. White with leadership provided by Sister White and fund raising efforts by the member of the circuit sponsored a trip for the youth of the church to Disney World in July, 2001 and to Virginia and in July, 2003.
On October 15, 2000 Ground Breaking Services for the Fellowship Hall and Office Complex Renovations were held. Rev. George F. Flowers, pastor of Williams Chapel AME Church and the newly elected Director of Department of Global Witness and Ministry for the AME Church was the speaker. His choir and congregation accompanied him. The renovation and construction project which had been in planning for a number of years, with the blessing of God and the leadership of Rev. White, was completed and occupied by the membership on Easter Sunday Morning March, 31, 2002. The modern structure provides office space for the church and pastor, as well as classrooms and seating for approximately 250 people for church functions. The church was blessed to have one of its own members, Eric Hamilton, serve as Project Manager. The Building Finance Committee consisted of Sylvia Aiken, Patricia Fields, Abbiegail Hugine, Theodore Hamilton, and Andrew Hugine, Jr.
The dedication service for the new Andrew Hugine Sr. Family Life Center/ Office Space
was held August, 23, 2003. The service was rendered by The Right Reverend Henry Allen Belin, Jr. Presiding Bishop, Seventh Episcopal District.
Under the continual insightful and spiritual leadership of Rev. Robert K. White Sr. and Family the church continue to grow spiritually and aesthetically. Donations such as the new piano, the candelabrum, kitchen and fellowship hall accessories, communion cabinet, and the addition of the church library by various members are only some of the improvements to the church.
The current membership of the church was 78. We ask God’s guidance for the strength to endure the times and for the vision to make decisions for the betterment of the church.
In November, 2008, after serving twelve years, Rev. Robert Kelly White, Sr was assigned to St. Peters AME Church in Walterboro, SC. Rev. Jack Lewis, Jr., became pastor of the church in November, 2008. Under Rev. Lewis’s leadership, with the assistance of his wife, Sister Patricia Lewis, the church continues to grow spiritually and financially. A Service tape ministry has been added, a new Gospel Choir, After School Tutoring Program, and the Mortgage on the newly renovated Andrew Hugine Sr. Fellowship and Office Complex was retired. Rev. Lewis continues Bible classes and a weekly Prayer service where he serves as the principal instructor and leader. Also continued is a yearly Vacation Bible school, with the emphasis on active involvement of young people in the Church.
The current membership of the church is 73. We ask God’s guidance for the strength to endure the times and for the vision to make decisions for the betterment of the church.
St. Mary’s AME Church
The celebration of a church anniversary is a time to consider reflectively the faithfulness of God in providing for and protecting his people. It affords an occasion to recall the historic pilgrimage of God’s people who make up that particular household of faith. Minds and hearts should be sensitive to the source and structure that have brought God’s people to the place we are today.
As far as we have knowledge, St. Mary AME Church was organized in the year 1906. St. Mary was first called Salem Protestant Church. Our past ministers include Rev. Humbred, Rev. A.C. Brown, and Rev. RC. Williams, and Rev. G. W. Hill. All of these past ministers have made their own indelible mark on our church. Under the leadership of Rev. A.C. Brown, a board church was built with the assistance of James Frasier, Sr., Tony Milton, Paul Drayton, Leonard Gordon, Lamus Williams, Quobnor Wright, and Winter Wright. This building was known as the Old Protestant Church. After being the Old Protestant Church for several years, the church was changed to the AME denomination and was rebuilt as a block church in 1949 under the direction of Rev. James E. MacDonald with Cyrus Drayton, Thomas Jenkins, Allen Washington, Jim White, Sammie Frasier, and Mike Frasier assisting. After Rev. MacDonald was moved, Rev. James Fuller became our pastor. He pastored for two years. He became ill and never recovered. In October, 1959 Rev. Andrew Hugine, Sr. was assigned to the White Hall Circuit. Rev. Andrew Hugine, Sr. served us for twenty- seven years. During his tenure, with the help of the Almighty God, the membership, and his devoted wife, Sis. Irene Hugine, the following tasks were accomplished: a choir loft, the fellowship hall, indoor plumbing installed, central heating and air conditioning, a telephone, new pews donated by individual members, youth ministries, working with the NAACP of the community as well as ministering to the physical and spirituals needs of the church.
The following officers served during this time:
- Stewards: Sammie Frasier, Oscar Brown, Mike Richard, William Scott, Adam Andrews, Julia Fields, Sammie Lee Frasier, Cleveland Frasier, and Mike Frasier.
- Trustees: Willie Frasier, Franklin Holmes, Katie Gilliard, Larry Fields, and Lou Ethel Scott
- Sunday School Superintendents: Mary Lee Lane and Alma DuBois, and Sammie L. Frasier, Jr.
Upon the death of Rev. Andrew Hugine, Sr., Rev. Willie Lloyd was assigned to the White Hall Circuit in October 1986, along with his wife Sis. Beatrice Lloyd’ Rev. Lloyd served us for ten years. During his tenure the following accomplishments were made: replacing the tin roof of the church with shingle, bricking up the physical structure, the front entrance of the church was extended, including two restrooms, the interior of the church was repainted, plans were also made for the remodeling of the interior of the church, weekly bible class was reinstated, The Irene Hugine Memorial Fund was organized, our church dedication and corner stone laying was held in June 1996, with the Right Reverend John H. Adams, Senior Bishop of the AME Churches, and Presiding Elder George W. Brown presiding.
The following officers served at this time:
- Stewards: Sammie Frasier, Oscar Brown, Mike Richard, William Scott, Sammie Lee Frasier, Reginald Edwards, Larry Fields, Wilfred Fields, Mary Edwards, Loutricia Sanders, Nathan Kirkland, Loretta Kirkland, and Cleveland Frasier.
- Trustees: Willie Frasier, Franklin Holmes, Katie Gilliard, Lou Ethel Scott, Ned Edwards, Jr., Freezie Jackson, Mary Lane, Clara Ervin, Dannie Mae James, William Milton, Freemond Edward, Isaac Frasier, Eric Gilliard, Mahalia Buckner, Laurie Frasier, and Cathy Ferguson.
- YPD Director: during this time was Alma DuBois
In October 1996, after serving for 10 years, Rev. Willie Lloyd was re-assigned to St. Mark AME Church in Ravenel. Rev. Robert Kelly White, Sr. followed as pastor. Under Rev. White’s leadership, the church grew both spiritually and financially. Bible Class was reinstituted with our pastor serving as the primary instructor. Vacation Bible School was held and there was re-emphasis on the active involvement of young people in the church. The entire church was renovated, new carpet installed, the pastor’s study with a restroom was added, and we purchased new tables and chairs, air conditioning system, covering for pews, pump house, stove, refrigerator, electric piano, and drum set. Various members made donations such as bibles, TV, microwave, and candelabrum to the church. Rev. White blessed us with the beautiful mural, ” Jesus in Gethsemane,” which he painted and donated himself. The R.K. White Gospel Ensemble and the Male Chorus was organized. The Sunbeam Choir was revitalized. We were blessed with an outstanding church sign which Michael Lane completed the brickwork.
The officers at that time were as follows:
- Trustees: Horace Pinkney, Lou Ethel Scott, Katie Gilliard, Freezie Jackson, Willie Frasier, Mary Lane, Clara Ervin, Dannie Mae James, William Milton, Eric Gilliard, Laurie Frasier, Cathy Ferguson, Charles Frasier, and Freemond Edwards.
- Stewards: William Scott, Cleveland Frasier, Ned Edwards Jr., Nathan Kirkland Jr., Oscar Brown, Mary Edwards, Loretta Kirkland, Loutricia Sanders, Sammie Frasier Jr., and Daisey Mitchell
- Class Leaders: Nathan Kirkland, Cleveland Frasier, Oscar Brown, Mary Lane, Horace Pinkney and Mary Edwards
- Lay Persons: Cleveland Frasier served eight years as president of the Beaufort District Lay
- Organization. Later he became the president of the South Carolina Lay Organization and served six years. Charles Frasier is the Local Lay Organization president.
- Past Local Lay President include: Wilfred Fields, Reginald Edwards, Sammie 4.e Frasier Jr., Walter Fields, and Michael Kirkland
- YPD Director: Sis Mary Edwards
Individuals from St. Mary that went into the ministry: The late Rev. Ned Edwards, Sr. pastored in the South Carolina Conference. Although he was ministering to his flock, he always had his home church in his heart. He was always interested in the prosperity of his home church. He received permission from Rev. Lloyd to form committees to raise money so that the bricking of the church could take place. His committee members consisted of his caring wife the late Helen Edwards, and his children, Katie Gilliard, the late Ida Steward, and Isaac Richards, with this committee nearly $3,000.00 was raised, which allowed the bricks to be purchased. His Spirit is with us today The Rev. Nathaniel Edwards was assigned to Shiloh AME Church. The late Rev. Felman Frasier, all of his pasturing was done in the South Carolina Conference Beaufort District, and Rev. Harold Brown who is currently pastoring in the Central District.
Bro. Nathan Kirkland was licensed as a local Preacher in 2004. We ask that God continue to bless, strengthen, and keep him in his care. We salute those who have helped to make St. Mary a valuable institution.
The 2008 Leadership was:
- Horace Pinkney
- Lou Ethel Scott
- Ned Edwards, Jr.
- Katie Gilliard
- Mary Lane
- Willie Frasier
- Charles Frasier
- Loretta Kirkland
- Michael Lane
- Sammie Lee Frasier
- Mary Edwards,
- Loutricia Sanders
- Kawanna Murray
- Fredrick Rivers
- Daisey Mitchell
- Ora Pinkney
- Carol Powell
- Cleveland Frasier
Class Leaders: Nathan Kirkland Jr., Cleveland Frasier, Horace Pinkney, Daisey Mitchell, Mary Lane, Mary Edwards and Charles Frasier
Lay Person: Charles Frasier is the Local Lay Organization president YPO Director: Jacqueline Hamilton
In November, 2008, after serving twelve years, Rev. Robert Kelly White, Sr. was assigned to St. Peters AME Church in Walterboro, SC. Rev. Jack Lewis, Jr., became pastor of the church in November, 2008. Under Rev. Lewis’s leadership, with the assistance of his wife, Sister Patricia Lewis, the church continues to grow spiritually and financially. A Service tape ministry has been added, a new Gospel Choir, After School Tutoring Program, and the Mortgage on the newly renovated Andrew Hugine Sr. Fellowship and Office Complex was retired. Rev. Lewis continues Bible classes and a weekly Prayer service where he serves as the principal instructor and leader. Also continued is a yearly Vacation Bible school, with the emphasis on active involvement of young people in the Church.
To our pastor, officers, members and friends, let us as Christians keep our love light shining bright as we continue to do that which the Lord commands us to do, for he has brought us from a mighty long way. Let us continue to be steadfast unmovable, always abounding in the work of our Lord, for our labor will not be in vain.