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Camden First United Methodist Church celebrates 14th anniversary

Posted: March 6, 2012 3:07 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2012 5:00 a.m.

The rich history of Camden First United Methodist Church spans a total of 146 years. History states that the church was begun as one of the seven charges of the Charleston District when the South Carolina Missions Conference was organized in 1866. We have come a long way; from worshipping in the galleries of the White Methodist Episcopal Church prior to the Civil War to purchasing the building that they vacated when they built what is now Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church; through the partial destruction of our church by fire in 1925; to organizing, raising funds, and donating bricks (a total of 30,000) to rebuild the church while worshipping at Browning Home Mather Academy and Mt. Moriah Baptist Church; to returning to the newly built structure, our current structure, in 1928; through difficult financial times with the pastor at that time sacrificing his salary until the debt was paid and the mortgage burned in 1946; through the building of the parsonage which was first occupied in 1953; through designating Trinity and Macedonia churches as the Camden Charge served by the same pastor; through the building and development of the Trinity Apartments; through being one of the first churches of the South Carolina Conference to participate in cross-racial appointments; to the merger of Trinity and Macedonia United Methodist churches into the Camden First United Methodist, as we are today.

The merger took place under the leadership of Rev. Cassandra Jackson with both churches voting without opposition after several meetings and much discussion, first as individual churches, then as one body. After her pastorate, Rev. Otis Scott, Jr. became our pastor. A new parsonage was purchased. It was under his leadership that the Camden First Community Development Corporation was organized and the church underwent a complete renovation and restoration. Properties adjourning the church were also purchased.

Our current pastor, Rev. Ellis White Jr. was appointed to Camden First in 2008. He came with a heart to serve and the willingness to lead. We continue to grow under his leadership in many ways. Since his coming, we have seen tremendous growth in our membership. Our family groups, The Fruit of the Spirit, continue to grow in fellowship and foster better communication. They along with the United Methodist Women and the United Methodist Men have accepted the responsibility of the Camden First Café, our Sunday morning breakfast program. Our children and youth are growing in Sunday school and other activities in the church like the Todah Praise Dance Ministry where they provide an awesome worship and praise experience through dance.

The past year, the United Methodist Women sponsored their first Walk-A-Thon to bring awareness to teen pregnancy. More than one hundred members and friends participated in the 5K walk. The women also sponsored a Turkey Give-A-Way in which 100 turkeys were given to individuals after a Thanksgiving Service.

The United Methodist Men held a Breakfast POW Wow, a “Gathering of the Men” workshop, for the purpose of developing fellowship and building a more effective men’s ministry. After breakfast, which was prepared by the men, our pastor led us in the workshop. From this workshop, a Parking Lot Ministry was established. This ministry has made quite a presence on the grounds of the church and is greatly appreciated. The parking lot behind the church has been rearranged to include more handicapped parking spaces, designated spaces for the Mother of the Church and the Father of the Church, and the musician.

A Christian Education Store has been established to operate monthly. This is being spearheaded by the youth.
The Thomas E. McLester Scholarship continues to grow. Two deserving students received scholarships this past year.
The theme for 2012 is: Committing Our Faith for Kingdom Building -- The Year of Bearing Fruit. Our Anniversary is built around our theme.

The speaker for the occasion at 4 p.m. Sunday will be the Rev. Mack McClam, the pastor of Canaan/Sandhill Charge in Ridgeville.

(Submitted by Carl Robinson)

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