RELIGION NEWS: The Parish Church of St. Helena starts celebrating tricentennial Sunday


charley@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 21, 2012 

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History will be made -- and celebrated -- Sunday when The Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort kicks off its 300th anniversary. Services are at 7:30 and 10:15 a.m., with the outside dedication at 9:30 a.m.

The 1726 church bell, which was buried during the American Revolution, will ring at 9:15 a.m. Sunday to begin the dedication.

Church members have spent the past three years planning events to celebrate the church's Tricentennial this year.

"This is our big, grand celebration to kick off all the other things that will be happening throughout the year," explained Jan Pringle, tricentennial standing committee co-chairwoman with Bob Barrett. "There is a tremendous amount of excitement among our parishioners, and I personally am overjoyed because this is just an incredible opportunity to glorify God for the 300 years our church has withstood so many things."

"I have never been to a church that seems to be so full of the Holy Spirit with teachers and preachers that lift you up every time you are there," Pringle said.

It is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the country and is the oldest public building in Beaufort with the original building completed in 1724.

Since its establishment in 1712 as a colonial parish of the Church of England, the church has withstood the 1715 Yemassee Indian War, Civil War encampment by federal soldiers, service as a hospital, the Great Depression and even hurricanes.

"So many times over these 300 years, things have been hurled at us, but we have stayed the course, and it (allows) us to stay the course and glorify God again," Pringle said.

Among the highlights planned Sunday are presentations and proclamations by the Right Reverend and Right Honorable Richard Chartres, Lord Bishop of London, who officiated at last year's royal wedding.

Wearing period costumes, flag bearers with various historic flags will line the front walkway of the church while a town crier sends out a greeting from Queen Elizabeth and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A special worship service will follow with sermon by Bishop Chartres, and original Tricentennial music composed by renowned English composer Malcolm Archer and performed by St. Helena's choir, accompanied by orchestral musicians.

Interdenominational events are planned throughout the year with The Baptist Church of Beaufort and First Presbyterian Church, including a revival at Community Bible Church with Dr. Tony Evans of Texas, a nationally acclaimed evangelist and president of the Urban Alternative.

Other events include musical performances by The Citadel Cadet Chorale on Jan. 31; the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Concert on March 10; the Winthrop University Chamber Singers on April 15; and The Naval Academy Men's Glee Club in the fall.

The church is at 505 Church St., Beaufort.



Another church is kicking off its yearlong calendar of events to celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary.

First African Baptist Church, the oldest church on Hilton Head Island, will celebrate its 150th anniversary with an opening ceremony at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at Mitchelville Freedom Park. A short walk from the church to Fish Haul Park will kick off the ceremony.

The church was founded in 1862 in the Town of Mitchelville under the leadership of Gen. Ormsby Mitchel. The Rev. Abraham Murchison, a freed slave, was the first pastor.

The theme of the celebration is "The Old Landmark: Celebrating Our Mitchelville Past, Our Present and Our Future." The church is at 70 Beach City Road.

Details: 843-681-5836

Unity Church of Hilton Head Island

The Rev. Julie Johnson, the church's senior minister candidate, will present a seminar on "The Power of Intention" from 10 a.m. to noon today at Hampton Inn near Sun City Hilton Head. Participants will learn the four principles to creating powerful intentions in life.

Johnson also will lead the Unity Sunday service at 10 a.m. Sunday at the regular location, The Seaquins Ballroom, 1300 Fording Island Road, Bluffton. She will speak on "The Healing Power of Love."

Details: 843-682-8177

Nazareth Baptist Church

The Nazareth Baptist Church will celebrate its Pastor's Aide 29th Anniversary at 4 p.m. Sunday. The Rev. Dr. Horace Williams of Faith Memorial Baptist Church will speak.

The church is at 133 Seaside Road, St. Helena Island.

Details: 843-838-7374, 843-838-4812

All Saints Episcopal Church

A service in the style of Taize, a simple service filled with Scripture, prayer and music begins at 6 p.m. Sunday. The service was modeled on the tradition that began many years ago in the ecumenical French monastic community called "Taize." The service will include periods of silence and the repetition of the words of the music as an opportunity to worship in a slower, deeper way that allows a sense of peacefulness in the presence of God.

The church is at 3001 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island.

Details: 843-681-8333

Jericho AME Church

The 37th Men's Day Program begins at 3 p.m. Sunday with a devotional by Bethel Word & Worship Church. The Rev. Reginald Jacobs of Campbell Chapel AME Church will speak.

The church is at 342 Broad River Blvd., Burton.

Details: 843-522-1648

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry

Unitarian Universalist Ministry Associate Dr. Andrew Reese of Augusta, Ga., will discuss "Transcendental Experiences Perhaps Even in Church" at 10 a.m. Sunday. He will discuss what transcendental experiences are, why they are important and how worship services can help us have them. Religious education is provided during the service.

The church is at 110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton.

Details: 843-837-3330

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Beaufort

The Rev. Nan White will discuss "Living in Limbo" at 10 a.m. Sunday. This sermon references a photo exhibit about lesbian families in the deep South.

The fellowship meets at 178 Sams Point Road, Lady's Island.

Details: 843-838-1399

Christian Science Society of Beaufort

The Christian Science Society of Beaufort joins with the Hilton Head Island and Savannah Christian Science churches to sponsor a weekly radio broadcast on WLOW 107.9 FM at 8:30 a.m. Sundays. The broadcast will discuss how people overcome illness, relationship difficulties, financial hardships and other trials through prayer.

Building on the verse from I John 5:6: "It is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth," the subject of "Truth" is the title of the Bible sermon at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

The society meets at Temple Beth Israel, 401 Scott St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-441-2262

New Hope Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The church will celebrate its 89th anniversary with Family and Friends Week at 10 a.m. Sunday. Sunday's guests are New Hope Church Family. Edward Cushingberry Jr. is host pastor.

The church is at 67 Parris Island Gateway in Burton.

Details: 843-524-6520

First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head Island

The Health Ministries is sponsoring a free program, "Organ Donation: Don't Let the Myths Confuse You," at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the church library. Speakers include transplant recipients, those whose loved ones have been donors, and Pastor Jan Cook, who will give the religious point of view.

A four-week series, "For the Beauty of the Earth: Saving Hilton Head Island for Today and Tomorrow," a program about sustainability and the environment continues at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Fellowship Hall.

The church is at 540 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island.

Details: 843-681-3696,,

The Church of the Cross in Bluffton

The Alpha Course continues from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through March 20 at the Buckwalter campus, 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton. Dinner is served at each session. More than 16 million people have taken the Alpha course, now offered in 169 countries in 81 languages in more than 100 denominations. Reservations required.

Details: 843-757-2661,

The church invites divorced or separated people to attend the DivorceCare weekly seminar and support group from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays, starting this Monday through April 23 at the Calhoun Street campus, 110 Calhoun St., Bluffton. Registration required.

Details: 843-757-2661,

The eight-week Healing After Loss program for those who have lost a loved one, is from 3 to 5 p.m. Sundays beginning Feb. 12. This is a confidential, Scripture-based support group for people mourning the death of someone close and will be facilitated by members who have experienced a loss in their own lives. The program hopes to offer comfort and encouragement to those who commit to joining. The meetings are closed.

Details: 843-757-2661,

The Church of the Cross is offering a chance for women to renew their faith during the Cross Christian Women Winter Retreat Feb. 24-26 at Epworth by the Sea, Sea Island, Ga. The retreat will be led by Acton Beard. The theme is "Double Vision: Having Kingdom Eyes While Here on Earth," with teachings based on the book, "Waking the Dead" by John Eldredge. Cost ranges from $177 to $302 for the weekend and includes room and six meals. Price depends on the number of people per room. Register online or pay by check at the church office. Payments are due by Feb. 1.

Details: Becky Owens at 843-757-6270,

St. Luke's United Methodist Church

An open 12-Step Meeting is held from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays in the Fellowship Hall.

The church is on S.C. 170 near the back gates of Sun City Hilton Head in Okatie/Bluffton.

Details: 843-705-7939

Second Goodwill Baptist Church

The Food Bank will reopen at 10 a.m. Wednesday at 2201 Morris St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-470-0762

North Island Baptist Church

A free workshop on "Making Your Camera Come Alive" is open from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Sponsored by the church and Best Buy, the workshop will teach participants what to do with the photos on their cameras. The secrets and tricks include email, editing, attaching and transferring pictures to and from Facebook.

The church is at 3800 Main St., Hilton Head Island.

Details: 843-689-3800,

Coosawhatchie Baptist Church

The church will host revival services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday and at 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday with Evangelist Frank Shivers of Columbia. Shivers is in his 36th year as a full-time preaching evangelist. He has written 10 books and is the director of Longridge Camp and Retreat Center in Ridgeway. Special singing will be provided at each service from the Coosawhatchie Baptist Choir and special guests. Nursery services will be provided.

Details: Pastor Allen Perry, 843-258-0081

Congregation Beth Yam

Maggie Anton, noted authority on the historical role of women in Judaism and author of the "Rashi's Daughters" trilogy, will discuss life, love and the Talmud in medieval France at 7 p.m. Sunday. The program is sponsored by Hilton Head Hadassah and the sisterhoods of Congregation Beth Yam and Congregation Oseh Shalom. A donation of $5 a person is requested. For reservations, send checks payable to "Congregation Beth Yam Sisterhood" to Judie Aronson, 12 Fishermen's Bend Court, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926 or email

Details: Elaine Lust, 843-837-1639

Walter Isaacson, author of a new biography of Steve Jobs, will discuss the significance of Jobs' contributions to the business world, with Rick Stengel as moderator, at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and "Kissinger, A Biography." The cost is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Reservations required.

The congregation meets at 4501 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island.

Details: 843-689-2178

Shell Point Baptist Church

A free, warm meal and conversation is offered from 6 to 7 p.m. Fridays at the church, 871 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort. Refining Christian Maturity Recovery meeting will be at 7 p.m. A food pantry is also available.

Details: Joy Kircher, 843-575-2200,

Old Ashley Baptist Association

All churches in District Three of the Old Ashley Baptist Association will meet at 9 a.m. today at Israelite Baptist Church, Laurel Bay.

The church is at 46 Rug Rag Road, Laurel Bay.

Details: 843-812-6927

The Parish Church of St. Helena

The church will offer two 13-week programs, Divorce Care and DivorceCare 4 Kids beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to help in the healing and recovery process and to deal with divorce and separation issues.

The church is at 507 Newcastle St., Beaufort.

Details: Carole Cash, 843-379-5944 to register, or call Tim Edwards, 843-522-1712 to register kids ages 5 to 12.

Church of the Palms United Methodist Church

The church will host a "Visitor from the Past," portrayer Luella Krieger, at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 29. Krieger will portray Lydia, the Seller of Purple, the first convert in Philippi and leader in the early Christian church. Attendance is free. A love offering will be taken.

The church is at 1425 Okatie Highway at Cherry Point intersection of S.C. 170 and Argent Road.

Details: 843-379-1888

Riverview Baptist Church

The Fifth Sunday Gospel Sing is from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29. Musicians and singers are invited to participate and admission is free.

The church is at 2209 Boundary St., Beaufort.

Details: Rhoda Paxton, 843-227-1777 or Fran Sobieski, 843-522-8017

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