HISTORY

 

         Saint George Episcopal Church began as an initiative in 1985 from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina in Columbia and Grace Episcopal Church here in Anderson. Discussions between the Grace Episcopal Church Vestry and Archdeacon Ven. Frederick C. Byrd of the Diocese led to the formation of a committee from Grace Episcopal Church which began a search for suitable land upon which a new mission church building could eventually be constructed.

          A parcel was located on East Greenville Street in Anderson, also known as SC Highway 81.  This parcel, the current home of St. George Church, was then purchased by the Diocese. Subsequently, more than 50 persons attended a meeting that sought to organize potential members of this new mission church. A steering committee of 12 members was formed to initiate and guide the new church and in the Fall of 1987, the Rev. J. Stephen Freeman from Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Simpsonville, SC agreed to shepherd the new congregation for a period of nine months until he began his further full-time theological studies in graduate school.

          November 8, 1987 marked the first worship service that was conducted in the meeting area of the old Anderson Downtown YMCA with 52 persons in attendance. Twenty-eight additional members signed the mission register in the following weeks. Most of the original members of St. George Church came from Grace and other Episcopal churches in the area, as well as from other Roman Catholic and Protestant places of worship. St. George Episcopal Church became the fastest growing church in Anderson, with over 120 members by late 1989. Although a blessing, the numbers soon exceeded the available space at the Downtown YMCA. A larger, more permanent home was needed for the growing mission church.

          Under the direction of its first Vicar, the Rev. Michael P. Szymanowski, a groundbreaking service was held for a new church building on March 12, 1989 with completion of the project and Dedication and Consecration of the new building occurring on November 5, 1989. Father Szymanowski replaced Rev. Freeman in July of 1988 and was installed as the first Vicar on September 8th of that year. The building is still being used for services on Sundays, Holy Days, as well as for baptisms, confirmations and wedding ceremonies. As it was designed as a multipurpose structure, it has also been used for church suppers, Vestry meetings and other social events.

          With the 1990’s, growth continued at St. George Episcopal Church with new Vicars, the Rev. Forrest E. Anderson and he, along with the Rev. Richard G. Elliott III,  expanded the membership to 45 households and approximately 158 worshipers in the greater Anderson area by the end of that decade. By October of 2002, St. George Church was acclaimed to be an Episcopalian Parish in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina with the Rev. Wayman Henry named as Priest-in-Charge.

          With the new millennium, St. George Church selected Mother Caroline Goodkind to be its first Rector between the years of 2005 and 2010 and with her retirement, the Rev. David Bridgforth assumed the spiritual duties at the Church until late 2016. St. George Church is currently seeking its second Rector and has initiated the process with the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.

          St. George Episcopal Church has evolved into a close-knit active congregation in keeping with its mission statement: “A loving and worshipping community seeking to spread the love of Jesus Christ in the Anglican tradition.” It hosts the annual Saint George Charity Oyster Roast in January of each year and donates the entire net proceeds from each event to Anderson and area non-profit organizations recommended by the church’s members.

 

 

Visitors Welcome!

 

Our Sunday Holy Eucharist service (Rite Two) is held at 10:00 AM each week.  We welcome visitors from all faiths and invite all baptized Christians to partake of the Holy Eucharist if they so desire. Please sign our guest book located on a lectern near the front entrance if you would like to be placed on our email list for the monthly St. George Church Banner, weekly updates and upcoming activity reminders and a contact list of our Vestry leaders.