Kershaw County has all sorts of unique things that make it a good place to live. One of those is the series of lakeside worship services that’s held each summer on the shores of Lake Wateree. The project was begun more than 30 years ago as an outreach of Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church; Gene Rollins was not yet the pastor there, but he came to the church shortly afterward and helped spur phenomenal growth not only at the church itself but at the lakeside services.
Rollins is stepping down at the end of this year after 27 years at Liberty Hill Presbyterian; not only has the church gone from 14 members to about 350 during that time, but “lakeside” has become an entrenched part of the spiritual life of many people who live at the lake -- either year-‘round or seasonally -- and those who like to spend weekends there. The services were originally held at Camp Lystra, which is owned by Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church; a few years ago, a generous county citizen donated a waterfront parcel near the old Lake Wateree Sail Club site. That provided a permanent home for the lakeside services, and it’s a spot that hosts many people every Sunday morning during the summer.
Much of the attraction has been Rollins’ down-to-earth sermons -- always based in solid faith, in common sense and in compassion. We hope he’ll enjoy a well-deserved retirement, though we imagine he’ll find a number of ways to remain active. He’s laid a firm foundation for those who find meaningful worship not only at his home church but at Lake Wateree.