What are we about?
We are about loving each other as Christ loved us. We are about preaching the Gospel with all of the wonderful hope it contains. We are about feeding the hungry with physical and spiritual nourishment. We are about healing the sick, those of our congregation as well as those of our wider community. And we are about comforting the lonely.
We are about laughing, and praying, and seeking, and helping, and listening, and caring.
We are about fellowship, and discipleship, and companionship.
We are about studying the richness of God's Word in all of its infinite goodness. We are about seeking deeper and richer ways to apply the Holy Scriptures in our lives.
We are about persevering in our walk to the foot of the Cross, and about leading others to the foot of that same Cross and to the blessed salvation of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God.
We are about joyfully celebrating the Sacraments and singing praise to the Our Lord. Oh yeah, we do a lot of that last one!
For more about St. Paul's, Bennettsville please explore our site or contact us by phone at (843) 479-4827 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be always with you!
A Little History: The presence of the Episcopal Church in Bennettsville can be traced to the early 1800’s as a few members of St. David’s Parish, Cheraw, began to move into the area. Probably the first bishop to visit the area was the Rt. Rev. William Bell White Howe who served from 1871 until 1894.
In 1894 Bishop Capers appointed Rev. Thomas Perry Baker, rector of St. David’s, as missionary in charge of the St. Paul’s Mission in Bennettsville. Less than three years later in 1897 the new mission purchased a ¾ acre lot on Fayetteville Avenue for the tidy sum of $350, and its twelve members set about to break ground for a new church. St. Paul’s church was completed in December and the first services were conducted on Christmas Day in 1897. The church was consecrated on June 1, 1899. St. Paul’s remained a mission church administered by St. David’s, Cheraw, until 1908 when Bishop W.A. Guerry sent the Rev. Edwin Anderson Penick to become our first resident clergyman. St. Paul’s became a parish church in 1914.
Upon entering our sanctuary you are greeted and warmed by a large beautiful stained glass cross located behind the altar at the front of the church. Once inside you will also notice the sloped flooring, a well known feature of St. Paul’s and the only church in our diocese with such flooring. As you continue down the center aisle the red and green from the stained glass windows on both sides, blended with the darkened walls and ceiling and the solid cherry pews offer a soothing ambience perfectly suited for prayer and quiet thanksgiving.
Connected to the sanctuary is Porcher Hall, our Parish House. Named for Rev. O.T. Porcher and constructed in 1948, Porcher Hall has become a mainstay in the family life of St. Paul’s and the Bennettsville community. This area of the church proper contains a library, meeting and vesting rooms, a complete kitchen, and a large congregational meeting hall. Generations of honor courts of Boy Scout Troop 625 and pack meetings of Cub Scout Pack 627 have been held here along with Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers for over fifty years!
St. Paul's is a traditional Episcopal parish that emphasizes the Sacraments in its worship. St. Paul’s has a long history of liturgically-centered worship approached with reverence and dignity. The use of renewal music and praise hymns have also a regular part of our Sunday worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Generally the Eucharist is celebrated each Sunday with Rite I service at 8:00 a.m. and Rite II Service at 10:00 a. m. followed by our traditional social hour at eleven. There is typically a Wednesday healing and prayer Eucharist each Wednesday morning at 9:30, followed by a Bible study..
Music is an important part of the worship at St. Paul’s. Led by our director and organist music is provided each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. This traditional worship in song is complimented with renewal and praise music using guitars and flute .
St. Paul ’s observes all major seasons and feast days of the church calendar. After our traditional Shrove Tuesday pancake celebration, there is an imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday followed by covered dish suppers and teachings throughout the Lenten Season. Holy Week is observed with several special services including Stations of the Cross and Maundy Thursday with the traditional Stripping of the Altar. Special services and teachings are also conducted during the Advent Season to prepare all parishioners young and old for Christmas. The 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Eucharist at St. Paul’s is a special time of joy and thanksgiving and has become a “looked forward to” event for the entire community. Other holy days are also observed throughout the year.
The worship at St. Paul’s is enhanced through the efforts of outstanding acolytes and lectors. A dedicated altar guild faithfully prepares for worship services, tends to the altar and sacristy, and assists with the flowers that decorate our church.
Christian education and youth programming has long been a major focus of our ministry at St. Paul’s. In addition to our weekly fellowships, Bible studies, and weekend “happenings,” St. Paul's holds a Summer theater workshop for the youth of the community. Our youth group has also participated in a “Summer Mission Trips” repairing homes for the disadvantaged, and weekends at St. Christopher on Seabrook Island are always a special event.