Church of The Epiphany, South Carolina Tri-County Genealogy Genealogy information for the genealogical researcher. Research centered in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties of South Carolina. Research includes census reports, cemetery reports, will abstracts, genealogy helps and more.

Church of The Epiphany

      
Berkeley County, SC
Charleston County, SC
Dorchester County, SC
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The Church of the Epiphany

St. John's, Berkeley County

History obtained by Mrs. T.L. Connor, Eutawville, SC

The Church of the Epiphany, upper St. Johns Berkeley Co., is situated on the Santee River Road, about ten miles east of the little town of Eutawville. It was originally a "chapel of ease" to the parish church at St. Stephens, and was built 1804. Not on the present site, but about two miles westward of the Rocks Creek, and close to the entrance gate of the Rocks Plantation. Owing to this situation, it was popularly known as the Rocks Church.

In 1814 the present structure was built under the supervision of Mr. John Palmer, who then lived at Bluefield, a plantation lower down the Santee. It was built on land forming a part of Springfield Plantation, then the property of Mr. Joseph Palmer.

The congregation was composed of families, who had migrated westward from the neighborhoods of St. Stephens and Pineville, and as far as can be learned, from the following places: Heydan Hill, Capt. Peter Gaillard. Eutaw and Belveue, Sinklers. Danchee, Theus, and Pond Bluff, Mrs. Francis Marion. Lock D- Kirks. Fountain Head, McKelveys. Spring Plains, Porchers. Cherry Grove, Cains. Poplar Hill, Calmsac. Mt. Hope, Dwights. Many of these plantations are still occupied by descendents of these same people, and compose a part of the present congregation.

The first Rector was the Rev. Charles B. Snowden, who was the rector also of St. Stephens and the Chapel of Ease at Black Oak. The two churches, Pineville and Rocks were considered partically the same congregation, and continued so until the early sixties.

After a service of about ten years, Mr. Snowden retired from the rectorship and was succeeded by Rev. J. D. Campbell, who died at his post in 1840. The churches were without a rector for nearly three years. In 1842 Rev. W. DeHon became rector, assisted by Rev. C.P. Gadsden, and later by Rev. Roberts P. Johnson.

The Church was consecrated March 4, 1844, during Mr. DeHon's rectorship. Later Rev. DeHon accepted a call to Charleston, and Rev. Johnson became rector. Up to this time the place of residence of all rectors had been Pineville. About 1836 Pineville became so unhealthy that some of the families deemed it advisable to make their summer home elsewhere.

In 1837 the first house in Eutawville was built by Cap. Thomas Porcher, and Capt. Peter Gaillard. It is now the rectory of the Parish, having been bought for that purpose by the Ladies Sewing Society, in 1881. Other houses were built as the years passed.

About 1849, feeling the need of a building for public worship in Eutawville, some of the gentlemen living there united and contributed material and workman and built the present chapel. The contributors were: Thomas Porcher, Charles Porcher, Eugene Gaillard, Willima Sinkler, Peter Snowden, James Gaillard, Jr., P.C. Kirk, James Gaillard, Sr., Dr. Edward Fludd, Charles Snowden and Joseph Palmer.

There was no minister nearer than Pineville, so this chapel was built upon conditions that it should not be consecreated so that all religious services might be held by ministers of any denomination, who were available at any time.

About 1863 this congregation separated from the church in Pineville, and the Rev. Robert P. Johnson accepted an invitation to the rectorship, and moved to this part of the Parish, living at Ledgewood Plantation in winter and Eutawville in summer.

Mr. Johnson continued to hold the rectorship until after the war between the states, probably until after 1866. Mr. Hall was then rector for a few months and died.

In refering to the Parish Register, we find Rev. N.B. Fuller began his pastorate, June 28, 1870. Rev. C.H. Newman, 1877. Rev. F.G. Scott, 1880. Rev. J.H. Tillinghast, 1884. Rev. P.M. Bradin, 1890. Rev. John M. Motte in April 1891.

From time to time the building had various alterations. The chancel was the effort of Mrs. Elmira and Marion Porcher. A pulpit and reading desk on either side. Later on some of the congregation put in new pews. Within the last few years the pulpit and reading desk have been removed, and a neat lectern and prayer desk substituted, the chancel completed and coushioned.

The church has been beautified by two handsom memorial windows. One in the rear of the chancel, the other in the North Side.

The Ladies Sewing Society was organized in 1873, for the purpose of keeping the church in repair, and any other parochial work for which there might be need. It has been in continuous operation. Mrs. Elinor Porcher was the first president and held office until her death.

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