Ministry begins lecture series for 300 years of Beaufort

The second oldest ministry in South Carolina, The Parish Church of St. Helena (Episcopal) in Beaufort, begins its tricentennial lecture series "Beaufort -- A Look Back" on Friday.

Established in 1712 as a colonial parish of the Church of England, the church was built in 1724 after construction of the building was delayed by the Yemassee Indian War of 1715.

In fact, its churchyard holds a famous fighter of American Indians, Col. John "Tuscarora Jack" Barnwell, who was a founder of Beaufort Town in 1711. According to church records, Barnwell is known for "leading an expedition against the Tuscarora Indians in 1711. In 1715, Barnwell rallied the Port Royal Militia and helped Gov. Charles Craven drive the Yemassee Indians into Florida after they attacked and burned the young town of Beaufort, torturing and killing many settlers." Also buried in the churchyard are British officers killed in an American Revolution battle in 1779.

The building has survived many historical events, including having been modified as a hospital in 1861 when Union soldiers occupied Beaufort and hurricanes in 1896 and 1959.

The Parish Church of St. Helena tricentennial celebration begins with the lecture series, which covers the time period from 1712-1865. The three-part series is offered Friday, Jan. 14 and Jan 21. Each program begins at 6:45 p.m. with an organ prelude by Pat Gould, music director at the church. The welcome is at 7 p.m. by the Rev. Jeffrey Miller, rector, and Dr. Lawrence Rowland, distinguished professor emeritus of history at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Topics and speakers are:

  • Friday: "Beaufort During the Colonial Era" by Rowland and "St. Helena's Parish During the Colonial Era" by Dr. John McCardell Jr., vice chancellor and president of Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Jan. 14: "The Great Beaufort Revival of 1831" by McCardell.
  • Jan. 21: "Beaufort During the Civil War" by Dr. Stephen Wise, museum director and cultural resource manager at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot
  • Cost is $15 a lecture or $40 for all three. The church is at 505 Church St., Beaufort.

    Details: 843-524-0363,, Robin Leverton,


    The Rev. Nan White will lead Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Beaufort's annual Peace Vigil at 4 p.m. today in Cannon Park at Carteret and Bay streets in Beaufort. The vigil will honor all South Carolina military men and women killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This service commemorates the Sixth Principle of Unitarian Universalism -- promoting the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.

    Details: 843-838-1399


    A Holy Communion service begins at noon Sunday at Scottsville Baptist Church. The church is at 110 Olde Church Road, St. Helena Island.

    Details: 843-838-2910


    St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church service services begin at 9 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday with Sunday school at 10:15 a.m. The church is at 20 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island.

    Details: 843-785-4711,


    Revival services are at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday and at 7 p.m. weeknights, Monday through Wednesday at the Beaufort Church of God with Bishop Thomas Suttle. An evangelist, singer and recording artist, Suttle has been ministering for 22 years. The church is at 641 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort.

    Details: 843-525-9385


    Bethesda Christian Fellowship will sponsor a Christian revival titled "The Time is Now" at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The church is at 36 Martin Luther King Drive, St. Helena Island.

    Details: 843-838-4410


    All Saints Episcopal Church will present the Christmas cantata of Estonian heritage at 6 p.m. Wednesday<FEFF> at the church on Hilton Head Island. This "Twelfth Night" concert features a Christmas cantata presented by Maaja Roos, choral director at Savannah Country Day School.

    The cantata was written by Rlate mother, Helen Tobias-Duesberg, an Estonian-American composer. Participating in the concert will be 60 singers and several instrumentalists who are middle and high school students at Country Day. Steven Branyon, organist/choirmaster at All Saints, will provide organ accompaniment. A wine and cheese reception will precede the concert at 5:15 p.m. in the parish library. An offering will be taken to benefit the Savannah Country Day School music program. All Saints Episcopal Church is at 3001 Meeting St., just off Main Street, Hilton Head.

    Details: 843-681-8333


    Grays Hill Baptist Church is sponsoring a free concert given by the gospel trio "Mercy's Well" at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the church. The church is at 2749 Trask Parkway, Burton.

    Details: 843-846-2797


    The Rev. Dr. Nannette Pierson, founder and director of the Sandalwood Community Food Pantry, will speak on "Hunger Hurts but Hospitality Heals Our Beloved Community" at 10 a.m. Jan. 9 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry.

    The service will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Participants are asked to support the Sandalwood Community Food Pantry by bringing a bag of food as a gift offering to hungry neighbors or pets. The church meets at 110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton.

    Details: 843-837-3330


    An introductory night of The Alpha Course for people looking to make a fresh start to their spiritual journey is at 6 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Dataw Island Community Center. Alpha is a 10-week series that explores key issues of faith in a relaxed informal setting. More than 16 million people worldwide have attended Alpha Courses in more than 63 countries. The event is free, but registration is required. The community center is at 43 Marina Drive, Dataw Island.

    Details: Jenifer, 843-838-5777


    Congregation Beth Yam will hold a Shabbat service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 8 p.m. Jan. 14. The Rev. Ben Williams of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church will be the guest speaker. The church and temple choirs will perform. Each member of the respective congregations has been asked to donate one can of food for The Deep Well Project. The congregation meets at 4501 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island.

    Details: 843-689-2178