Our History and Heritage
An Abridged History
The Summerville Church of Christ met for the first time on March 3, 1968 with fifty-eight people in attendance. Wayne Altman served as the new congregation’s first minister, serving until 1995. Wayne remained a member at Summerville for 20 more years after his retirement, and still worships with us whenever he is in town. Following a prayerful and deliberate search, David Clayton became the senior minister of the church on March 1,1996. David continues to serve as Summerville’s senior minister.
The present 3.6-acre property was purchased in 1968 and the original building was completed in June of 1969. In 1975, an adjacent residence was purchased to provide an annex for additional classrooms. In 1981 a large multi-purpose room was added to the original facility, and in 1983, an extension was added to the original classroom wing. In 1988 the current 600 seat auditorium and staff office space were completed. In 1999, the first phase of the 10,000 sq ft Family Life Center was completed. This facility provided a gymnasium for basketball and related activities, but more importantly, provided ample space for fellowship dinners, ministry fairs and other special events. In 2004, the Family Life Center Phase Two added a commercial grade kitchen, classroom space and air conditioning, and in 2015 a major update to the classroom wings was completed.
On January 6, 1980, Wayne Altman, Bill Harris and Eddie Gothard were installed as Summerville’s first elders, and on April 6, 1980, 10 men were installed to serve as the first deacons.
In September 1989 Hurricane Hugo devastated the Lowcountry. The congregation quickly mobilized and became an overnight emergency relief center assisting Hugo victims throughout the local area. The church became a truck reception station, warehouse, supply distribution center and a coordinating headquarters for many volunteer work crews arriving on the scene from congregations around the country. The church received nearly 100 truckloads of food, supplies and equipment and $613,000 in donations to assist Hugo’s victims.
The Summerville congregation today remains dedicated both to eternal Truth and to the vision of those first Christians who met 50 years ago, while also looking ahead to how we can best be the family of God in this community in our current era. Weekly attendance is well over 300, and the congregation is known for a strong youth and family ministry. Over the past three years, Summerville has raised over $100,000 for external missions. Most recently, the congregation has partnered with Triangle 2 Solutions, a cutting-edge, data-driven consulting group for churches and ministries, to identify how we can best and most effectively love, serve, and minister to the overall community of Summerville as it rapidly expands. We are confident and prayerful that God will continue to bless His body here, as He has so faithfully done for the last half-century.
-From the Summerville Church of Christ History at 40 Years, compiled by Ken Leach (2008). Updated 2018.