Charleston church celebrates 225 years in the Lowcountry

Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 3:37 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The oldest United Methodist Church in the Lowcountry and the third oldest structure in Charleston celebrated its 225th anniversary Sunday.

Community members came together at the Old Bethel United Methodist Church in downtown Charleston to celebrate with prayer, song and fellowship.

Congressman James E. Clyburn, who has a history with the church, served as the church’s anniversary speaker.

“He’s fellowshipped here, he’s worshipped here, he’s been big in supporting this church in the past, and I thought it was only right that when we come together once again after 225 years that he was a part of it to bring that message, and what a message it was,” said Pastor David Washington.

Clyburn’s message to the congregation was about being a neighbor.

“Being a neighbor does not depend upon being of the same ethnic background,” Clyburn said.

Washington said the church is looking to embark on a restoration project.

“This is the third oldest building of all of Charleston, and just like with most churches, with the decline in membership, the church has struggled to find means of being able to upkeep an older building,” Washington said. “Being a community church, we wanted to give this opportunity to allow all of the community to share in the restoration project because just as this is Old Bethel, it’s every bit of the member’s church, but it’s every bit of the community church as well.”

Washington said with the church being an old building, it has dealt with rot and decay. He said the hope is to spruce up the church to make sure it continues to have the “luster” it had in the beginning.

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