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SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - When you first see The Ruins historic home in Sumter County, the first thing that comes to mind is how nice it would be to sit on the porch.This Saturday, Col. Rett and Pat Summerville invite you to do so. No, Col. Summerville's name is not misspelled: his mother loved all things Southern but wanted his name to be unique.The 1784 home is on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Stateburg Historic District designated by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.Volu...
SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - When you first see The Ruins historic home in Sumter County, the first thing that comes to mind is how nice it would be to sit on the porch.
This Saturday, Col. Rett and Pat Summerville invite you to do so. No, Col. Summerville's name is not misspelled: his mother loved all things Southern but wanted his name to be unique.
The 1784 home is on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Stateburg Historic District designated by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Volunteers from the Historic Columbia Foundation and others dedicated to preserving historic sites in the Stateburg area have decorated the mansion in antebellum-period Christmas style. Docents in period costumes will guide guests through the rooms.
"This is our third year of hosting this open house and we couldn't do it without these dedicated volunteers," Pat Summerville said. Harriet Jackson, Judy Liner, Carl DuBose and Carol-Anne Bostic and others have spent hours getting the home ready for guests. Other volunteers include Janice Bowman, Pat Itter, Dena Creel, Ellen Hayhurst, and Peggy Culler-Hair.
The dining room table, built in Camden, is set with food created by longtime Historic Columbia Foundation volunteer Elizabeth Wyckoff, now deceased.
Last year more than 600 guests toured the home.
It's original owner, Revolutionary War hero John Mayrant, bought the property from fellow war hero General Thomas Sumter and was the first to plant cotton in the region. The cotton fields are long gone but what became of Mayrant's original cabin remains, remarkably preserved.
A longtime resident of the home who sold it to the Summervilles, Mrs. Amelia DeSaussure Barnwell Harper, will be there to tell guests about her memories living there.
Upon retiring from the U.S. Air Force, Col. Summerville and his wife worked to collect and return some of the home's original furnishings, including a circa 1838 sideboard built by noted furniture maker Anthony Quervelle. The piece was original to the home, but it had been sold in the early 1980's. Summerville tracked down the owner of the massive piece, who was willing to part with it since he couldn't fit it through his door.
Summerville has always had a respect for historic sites since his boyhood home was the Nathan Moore House in Oak Park, IL, designed in 1895 by Frank Lloyd Wright.
"The surrounding land of the Ruins has been put into a conservancy to protect it for the future," said Pat.
The Summervilles also have a small museum of tools and other items found on the site.
Other events include Revolutionary War-era demonstrations from Frank Holloway, who fires a period replica mortar, hayrides, and a display of other historic sites in Stateburg.
The Ruins site is at 1257 Barnwell Drive in Stateburg, about 1/2 mile off Highway 261 from 378. The Open House is from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free but donations will be accepted for historic preservation projects.
Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved.
Since 2012, South Carolina Anglicans have been in legal dispute with the Episcopal Church. A mixed State Supreme Court ruling in April 2022 began the conclusion of the last major church property dispute in the North American Anglican realignment.Of the 36 Anglican parishes that were parties in the South Carolina Episcopal Church lawsuit, 28 retained control of their church properties, including the historic St. Michael’s, St. Philip’s and Old St. Andrew’s churches in Charleston. The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina...
Since 2012, South Carolina Anglicans have been in legal dispute with the Episcopal Church. A mixed State Supreme Court ruling in April 2022 began the conclusion of the last major church property dispute in the North American Anglican realignment.
Of the 36 Anglican parishes that were parties in the South Carolina Episcopal Church lawsuit, 28 retained control of their church properties, including the historic St. Michael’s, St. Philip’s and Old St. Andrew’s churches in Charleston. The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina (ADOSC) counts a total of 53 parish and mission churches.
Of the eight ruled by the South Carolina State Supreme Court to lose control of their properties:
The Episcopal Church also filed a Petition for Reconsideration and Rehearing in September, asking the Court to reverse their ruling regarding two Anglican parishes whose property rights were affirmed on August 17: Old St Andrew’s in Charleston (the oldest church building south of Virginia dating to 1706), and the Church of the Holy Cross in Stateburg. Those parishes await court action.
St. John’s Parish Church on Johns Island was the first to turn over property to the Episcopal Church, leaving their historic building and grounds to begin meeting for services at a nearby middle school. An Episcopal Church-affiliated congregation began worship on the historic site July 17.
During his recent visit to Charleston for the Mere Anglicanism conference, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop Foley Beach preached at the invitation of the St. John’s congregation.
The decision of Archbishop Beach – who presumably would be welcome in the pulpit of any of the three dozen Charleston-area ACNA parishes – to preach at St. John’s Parish Church signaled care for and support of those who had lost properties.
“It was an incredible encouragement to have the Archbishop with us. We are humbled he chose to be with us,” St. John’s Rector Jeremy Shelton shared with me in an interview this week. “It’s been six months for us now and it has been an incredible blessing. It is difficult, for sure. But God is faithful and our congregation is growing in size, faithfulness, and unity. The Gospel speaks much louder than anything else.”
Shelton, who became St. John’s Rector at the time of the property handover, explained that the invitation for Beach to preach came about after a parish staff member suggested it. The Archbishop’s office circled back within a month, suggesting the weekend of January 29.
Johns Island is a formerly rural community that has quickly become a Charleston suburb. The fourth largest island on the United States’ East Coast, it now has a population nearing 30,000, a growth rate of 114 percent since 2000. Named for Saint John Parish in Barbados by the first English colonial settlers, there is a long history of Anglican worship on the island, with St. Johns Parish Church founded in 1734.
“Our neighbors are from Minnesota, New York, Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania,” Shelton, who hails from Kentucky but has lived in South Carolina for nearly 20 years, tells me of his own residential subdivision on the island. “They are coming from everywhere.”
Asked about what has most surprised the congregation amidst the period following the property handover, Shelton answered that congregational unity has grown.
“We were essentially three different congregations worshiping in one space,” Shelton recounted of the church’s recent history. “We went from three different worship preferences to one, and there was almost no dissension at all. It has been such an incredible blessing.”
The relationship with the middle school began about 15 years ago when parishioners prayed together for the school, then scheduled to close, to remain open, leading parishioners to become more intimately involved. It now has a magnet program and is a School of Excellence.
“In 15 years, going from a school that was scheduled to be closed to being a School of Excellence is nothing short of miraculous,” Shelton says of the school where his oldest son was a student and another son is presently enrolled. “They were arms wide open from the moment I reached out to them.”
Shelton said that of the parish congregation, about 250 persons came to worship at the middle school cafeteria, while about a dozen remained with the building as it transferred to the Episcopal Church.
“We are seeing new people come almost on a weekly basis,” Shelton reported. “We hosted a newcomer’s lunch this past Sunday since we began at the middle school and there were about thirty [new participants].”
The transition has not been without challenges: school fire alarms displaced the congregation in the middle of reciting the creed on Sunday, only to recur two weeks later at the conclusion of a service. Worship in a school cafeteria also means visible chewing gum adhered to the bottom of folding tables that double as pews. But St. John’s has a history of making it work.
“We have people who have been members for 94 years that have left the historic buildings and grounds and are now worshiping in the cafeteria of the school,” Shelton notes. Longtime church members recall these aren’t the first challenges the parish faced: in the 1950s, limited space necessitated Sunday school classes meeting in an attic and a graveyard.
“We’ve always made it work,” an elderly parishioner recounted to Shelton. God, he insists, is faithful: “We’re not just making it work, we’re thriving, due to God’s faithfulness and the resolve of the congregation.”
One challenge has already been overcome: the parish initially utilized garages and living rooms for storage, but now a central home base has been established in Resurrection Hall, which houses offices, storage and a trailer at one central location less than a mile from the school.
“You can do anything for a little while,” Shelton laughs. “What we have seen is that simply being in the community, we are hosting bible studies in people’s homes but also coffee shops, restaurants and parks. People are seeing us out and that is a way of beginning conversations.”
Update: St. Matthew’s Church in Fort Motte has successfully completed a capital campaign to buy back their church building, graveyard and parish hall. More here.
Update [5/25/2023]: The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled on the last three parish properties in dispute. Church of the Good Shepherd (Charleston) must transfer property to Episcopal Church, while Old St. Andrews (Charleston) and Holy Cross (Stateburg) have had Anglican control of those properties affirmed. More here.
The unanimous decision announced on April 20, 2022 by the South Carolina Supreme Court fulfilled (by its unanimity) at least one of the predictions made in the previous post on this blogafter the oral arguments last December. Unanimity, however, in this instance served not to resolve thorny issues of South Carolina ...
The unanimous decision announced on April 20, 2022 by the South Carolina Supreme Court fulfilled (by its unanimity) at least one of the predictions made in the previous post on this blogafter the oral arguments last December. Unanimity, however, in this instance served not to resolve thorny issues of South Carolina law, but rather sent a strong signal that the collective Justices were circling their wagons around their own, in a somewhat transparent attempt to recover the Court’s dignity lost in the fiasco created by its disgraceful disunity in 2017.
The result (reached by implicit design) can, alas, bring peace to neither of the litigating factions. Applying extremely arbitrary criteria of its own devising, the Court decided that of the twenty-nine individual parishes before it, fourteen (by the documents they adopted) allowed the nationwide trust specified in the Dennis Canon to be applied to their properties, while fifteen did not. The hair-splitting on display here is best illustrated by the following passage from footnote 12 of the main opinion by Justice Few:
The analysis of whether Holy Cross, Stateburg satisfied the second element discussed above—intent to create a trust—is the same as our analysis for St. Paul’s, Bennettsville, but the outcome of the case for the two Parishes is different. This is because Holy Cross, Stateburg took affirmative present action in its 2011 Bylaws to “accede to the . . . Canons of the [National Church],” but St. Paul’s, Bennettsville merely stated it was “organized under” and “subject to” the Canons.
This strained construction transforms the English word “accede” (“join in, agree and consent to”) into a poison pill that forever dooms the property of the parish using it to belong to the national Church rather than to the parish itself and its members — the latter are entitled to make use of their own property only for as long as they agree to remain with the sinking ecclesiastical shipwreck that is the current Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
The construction has acquired its severity by a questionable legerdemain performed by Justice Few and his colleagues. For they maintain that the Court’s 2017 decision, while not “final” with regard to actual ownership of the parishes’ properties, was nevertheless final as to the point that any trust established in South Carolina prior to 2006 was presumed irrevocable — because three of the five justices sitting in 2017 separately opined that it was so. Nevermind that the point was merely hypothetical at the time — because only two of the five believed, contrary to the Court’s 2009 decision in All Saints Waccamaw, that the Dennis Canon had already established trusts on the properties all by itself; the third (Chief Justice Beatty) simply “assumed” that a trust was created if the individual parishes had consented (“acceded”) to its imposition.
(Note that the present opinion does not even mention or cite the Waccamaw decision, which unanimously held that the Dennis Canon of its own force could not create a legally enforceable trust in South Carolina. There was no majority in favor of overruling Waccamaw on this point in 2017, yet in 2022 the Court treats the two minority Justices’ pronouncements contrary to that case as something the Court must now “adhere” to — go figure.)
Neither of those two Justices (Pleicones and Hearn) in 2017 remained on the case in 2022. Pleicones had retired and was replaced on the panel by the chief justice of South Carolina’s appellate court; Hearn recused herself from the case right after she rendered an extreme and very biased opinion (which was not surprising, given that as an Episcopalian in South Carolina she had been active in opposing any attempts by individual parishes to leave the Church). But the current court treated their dicta (the word attorneys use to describe court pronouncements that are not essential to its actual decision) as firmly established law for purposes of deciding the case in 2022. Justice Few goes out of his way to say that the Court’s holding on revocability applies only to the churches in the case (opinion, section III.E):
We adhere today to the votes those Justices cast in 2017. This holding is limited to the trusts created by express accession to the Dennis Canon in this case. We decline to comment on the revocability—or on any theory of revocability—of trusts created by other churches or parishes.
Never mind that in his 2017 opinion, Justice Kittredge had explained that “irrevocability” was only a presumption in South Carolina law, which could be overcome by contrary evidence. Never mind that Justice Hearn had conceded the bias in her own view by recusing herself; “adhere” to her disqualified vote anyway. Never mind that the 2022 Court decided to go only by the accidental words used by the attorneys creating the parish documents, and to draw an arbitrary bright line once the word “accede” was used. This disregards the extensive factual evidence, considered by the court below, about the differing circumstances that applied to the individual parishes when they each adopted their respective documents.
If anything was presently binding on the Supreme Court, it should have been the factual findings by Judge Dickson below, because they were supported by substantial evidence. The opinion indeed acknowledges this point, at the start of its section III.C. But it goes on to hold, without citing any authority whatsoever, that “the question of whether an action known to have been taken by a Parish created a trust in favor of the National Church and its diocese under South Carolina trust law is a question of law.” Stated that way, the conclusion allows the Court to bypass Judge Dickson’s findings as to each individual parish and proceed with its arbitrary verbal analysis involving whether the parishes used the word “accede” or not.
The Court, in short, was interested only in two things: (a) dispose of the case quickly in a fashion that gives something to each side, so neither can claim “victory”; and (b) restore its dignity by making the decision this time unanimous. And that is a recipe for bad law, which can please no one, and which should be nothing to make a judge proud. (An unspoken aim may have been to let any blame for the unsatisfying result fall on those no longer involved in the case, by treating their dicta as settled law which was “binding” on the current Justices.)
Once again, alas, we return to the recurring theme of this blog: the perils that St. Paul warned Christians about in taking their disputes to secular courts. This is not to judge anyone involved in the South Carolina (or other diocesan) litigation, who were faced with an intransigent national Church determined to have its way with every single dissident parish in the land. But it is to say that Christians cannot expect anything better when they place their disputes in the hands of ill-prepared courts to resolve.
There will be one final chapter to this desultory story once the federal courts dispose of the name and trademark claims, probably in ECUSA’s favor. I shall not return here to comment; I am done with everything that involves the Episcopal Church. Let it reap what it has so assiduously sown.
Arizona State University (ASU) started this month to offer a renewed version of a custom-certified program that teaches church leaders skills and techniques “for a new way forward” in marketing, communications, and volunteer management.
This program, named Best Skills Best Churches is designed to provide tools to handle a decline in attendance, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is offered through the Nonprofit Management Institute at the Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Nonprofit Innovation and Philanthropy.
There are six courses, with practice-oriented experiences, teaching clergy and lay leaders how to communicate, deal with finances, and market their spiritual communities.
Best Skills Best Churches began in 2015 in response to a request from the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, according to Robert Ashcraft, executive director of ASU’s Lodestar Center and the Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise in the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU.
This Episcopalian Bishop said that these skills are not taught in seminary. “Clergy found out that they’re running a nonprofit at a parish level. They have a building, a congregation, and volunteers and they have to raise revenue,” he explained.
“It’s not enough to want things to be better. There has to be a strategy behind it, and these courses gave me ways to effect change beyond just praying on it,” said an expert who works as a corporate communications consultant. “You never age out of learning.”
Today, in a unanimous order, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled on the pending petitions and motions before it regarding the remaining three parish properties still in dispute. Today’s order denied all such actions, returning to its earlier decision from August 17, 2022. Two will remain with the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina and one will be returned to the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.In response to the August ruling, the Church of the Good Shepherd (Charleston) had filed a petition for rehearing, asking the Court...
Today, in a unanimous order, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled on the pending petitions and motions before it regarding the remaining three parish properties still in dispute. Today’s order denied all such actions, returning to its earlier decision from August 17, 2022. Two will remain with the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina and one will be returned to the Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
In response to the August ruling, the Church of the Good Shepherd (Charleston) had filed a petition for rehearing, asking the Court to reconsider facts in the case that had resulted in the Court ruling that the Episcopal Church (TEC) maintained a trust interest in their property. That determination has now been affirmed by the Court and the parish will enter into settlement discussions with TEC to resolve the transfer of property and all other remaining issues.
The Episcopal Church on its part had also filed both petitions for rehearing and motions for relief from judgement regarding Old St. Andrews (Charleston) and Holy Cross (Stateburg). The August 17 ruling had affirmed Anglican parish control of those properties. Today’s decision affirmed that outcome for both those congregations. In today’s order, the Court said, “After careful consideration of both petitions for rehearing, the court is unable to discover that any material fault of principle of law has been either overlooked or disregarded, and hence, there is no basis for granting a rehearing.” The court on similar grounds denied the motion for relief of judgement as well.
The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina is grateful to see the final legal issues in these property disputes resolved and the rights of Old St. Andrews and Holy Cross affirmed. They join the other twenty-five parishes whose property rights were confirmed by the earlier rulings. To come to the conclusion of all litigation is a welcome blessing.
While grateful for these good gifts, we mourn the loss of property for Good Shepherd that this order dictates. Like the other seven congregations who received adverse rulings, Good Shepherd will continue on in faith.
The Bishop of The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, the Rt Revd Chip Edgar, said, “As we have seen with our other parishes whose properties were taken from them, I am confident that the Church of the Good Shepherd will recover from this blow and prosper in the new place to which the Lord will lead them. As we have with our other parishes, the Diocese stands ready to encourage and assist them.”
The Rector of Good Shepherd, the Rev. Will Klauber, assured his congregation today, “The Lord will provide for us a community. He will provide facilities and space for his ministry to continue. We rest assured that Jesus is still seated at the right hand of the Father, and his Spirit is still with us as we navigate these uncharted waters.”
This coming Sunday, we, as a Diocese, will celebrate Pentecost and the outpouring of God’s Spirit to build his Church. We remain confident that his work will continue apace through the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina and its 54 parishes and missions.
We must control our borders. We must stop the boats. We must have limits to those coming because we cannot take everyone. I said all this in the opening sentences of my speech in the House of Lords the week before last.
As the Illegal Migration Bill enters committee stage in the Lords, everyone agrees the status quo position on asylum fails. Those that arrive use dangerous means and face chaotic, ineffective treatment at tremendous cost, which creates discontent among those in the UK who feel their generosity is being exploited. We need a new approach that loves mercy and does justice, to use words from scripture.
But this bill will do little to resolve the existing problems, and will exacerbate others, all while causing serious suffering to the most vulnerable. The primary purpose of the Lords is to improve legislation, not block it. That’s why I have tabled helpful, not destructive amendments to the bill, with cross-party support, requiring the government to produce long-term strategies to tackle human trafficking and the refugee crisis.
The crisis is global, vast and long term. No nation can offer simple, quick fixes on its own. Successive governments have implemented deterrence policies to prevent asylum seekers arriving. They face indefinite detention in grim conditions, at constant risk of severe destitution, and now face the prospect of being sent to Rwanda. And yet Channel crossings are set to see record numbers this year.
Constructive alternatives have consistently been set out by refugee charities, NGOs, faith groups and those with longstanding professional and personal experience of the issues. Anyone who suggests those opposing this policy are indifferent to the challenges we face, or in favour of open-door immigration, or on the side of people smugglers, or even content to see desperate people drown, is not engaging with this debate in good faith.
Last December, in a debate in the House of Lords, bishops proposed approaches. One is to make better use of the existing system to speed up the processing of the vast backlog of asylum seekers the Home Office has allowed to build up, better facilitate removals of those whose asylum claim has been refused, and work more closely with groups organising voluntary returns.
A second is to undercut the smugglers’ business model. With very few exceptions there are no safe routes for people to arrive in the UK. There is no route for the Iranian Christian under threat of death for their faith, the Nigerian atheist under threat for blasphemy, or someone fleeing war in Sudan. An alternative, safe route, combined with UK-led international policing against people smuggling, will sharply reduce the number of people crossing the Channel.
Third is for the UK to lead a review of the 1951 convention, which the UK drafted, and in collaboration suggest ways to ensure that all nations accept their fair share of what is a global problem. Eighty per cent of refugees are in neighbouring and often very poor countries, and no nation should be allowed to simply freeload while others take most of the strain.
Climate change and related conflicts will increase up to tenfold the number of people fleeing their homes for safety over the coming decades. The best long-term way to address this crisis is to support the infrastructure and development of their own states. We have an aid budget precisely for this purpose, albeit a budget the government has reduced and up to a third of which it spends housing asylum seekers in this country. Spending it effectively in countries that need it will provide better value for money than constructing a vast detention state or giving £120 million to Rwanda not to house a single refugee to date.
No solution can stop Channel crossings entirely. But these alternatives are more likely to alleviate the situation without compromising the UK’s approach to international law or neglecting the victims of slavery, and while maintaining the commitment to dignity and hospitality that defines our country at its best.
Those who sit on the bishops’ bench will not abandon our duty to point out when governments propose legislation that is impractical or immoral. We will not abandon the most vulnerable people that Jesus Christ specifically calls us to love. And we will not abandon our hopes and efforts for a nation and a world that helps those in trouble and supports those in need.
Autumn in South Carolina offers many opportunities to get outside in cooler weather and enjoy a variety of activities. With fall festivals, corn mazes, and now these 10 best pumpkin patches in South Carolina you can have a fun-filled, action-packed season. Enjoy!Here are 10 pumpkin patches for...
Autumn in South Carolina offers many opportunities to get outside in cooler weather and enjoy a variety of activities. With fall festivals, corn mazes, and now these 10 best pumpkin patches in South Carolina you can have a fun-filled, action-packed season. Enjoy!
Here are 10 pumpkin patches for you to visit in the Palmetto State.
Here’s hoping you have a spectacular fall season! Have you been to any of these great pumpkin patches in Soth Carolina yet? If we missed one, then feel free to add to our list in our comments below or on Facebook.
One more fun thing to consider is the Pumpkin Patch Express train ride that ends up in a pumpkin patch filled with games and pumpkins you can pick!
Bill Hall | August 24, 2022
Fall in South Carolina South Carolina is beautiful in the fall. Simply being outdoors in the cooler air is a welcome change after summer. Also, many feel that the transition leaves go through can inspire both introspection and the urge to get out and explore. The leaves that were recently green and vibrant are now changing into more colorful versions of themselves. Grab a sweater and make the most of the season!
Are there train rides in South Carolina? Taking a train ride is a fun and inclusive way to go sightseeing. Everyone can partake in the action. The article 5 Incredible South Carolina Day Trips You Can Take By Train gives you a few options for cool train rides in South Carolina during the fall or anytime.
What are some good South Carolina road trips during the fall? Drive down any road during the fall and you can see the state in all its glory. However, a planned road trip in South Carolina is even better. The trip staked out in the preceding link takes you from Gaffney to Lake Hartwell State Park. There is so much to see and all of it is washed in fall colors.
Another, shorter South Carolina road trip is found in the article This Dreamy Road Trip Will Take You To The Best Fall Foliage In All Of South Carolina. It will only take 90 minutes each way and runs from Seneca to the Oscar Wigington Overlook. It is filled with incredible landscapes.
What are some popular Fall Activities in South Carolina? There’s a lot to do in the fall in South Carolina. The ideas above are definitely worth your consideration, but there’s more. Waterfalls are magical in the fall. There is Oktoberfest too. You might want to drive on a haunted road. Hiking is, of course, wonderful this time of year. You will find each of these options and more in the linked article Here Are The 14 Very Best Things You Can Possibly Do In South Carolina This Season.