Great Is Thy Faithfulness
On June 9, 2013 we opened the doors to the small chapel of First Scots Presbyterian Church on Meeting Street, and hosted our first Lord’s Day worship service as a church plant of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The historic mainline church graciously permitted us to make use of their lovely chapel and courtyard for the summer months. Rev. Ross Hodges (who served Christ Church for 6 years as an Assistant Pastor) and I had been planning for months. But on this beautiful summer evening we officially launched Christ Church Presbyterian. By God’s sovereign grace, what started as an idea and a prayer became a reality.
We weren’t sure who would attend the opening worship service. If a couple dozen showed up we would have been thrilled. To our surprise, the 110 seat chapel filled up before the service began! Many others stood for the entirety of the service in the two adjacent rooms. The atmosphere was electric. Several from supporting churches around the southeast travelled in to attend. What may have been most memorable, however, was the singing. The Psalms and hymns were raised with such joy and volume that one could barely hear the accompanists! I preached Christ Church’s first sermon from John 3:16. My aim was not only to unpack the true nature and riches of the Gospel of grace, but also to set forth our commitment to make the biblical Gospel the foundation of our message, mission, and ministry at Christ Church Presbyterian. It’s a commitment that we unashamedly and unapologetically maintain to this day. For the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16).
The first service propelled us into a Christ-centered ministry of worship, discipleship, and evangelism in the Charleston area. The Lord was moving powerfully in our midst. Many were showing interest in the work, attending services, and being impacted by the ministry. In the fall of 2013 we moved to St. Johannes Lutheran Church on Hasell Street in downtown Charleston. After only a couple of months, we relocated over the Cooper River Bridge to Moultrie Middle School in Mt. Pleasant. It was at the middle school that we began a new Lord’s Day schedule of morning and evening worship. Moultrie Middle would be our home for the next five years. Set up and take down was a labor of love for many during these early days, and we continued to see the Lord’s hand at work in the lives of many couples, families, and students. Monthly women’s fellowships, men’s and women’s Bible study, VBS, MUSC & Friends Weekly Bible Study Fellowships, Christmas Conferences, a Summer Mission Team to Peru, and many other things filled Christ Church’s calendar from its earliest days.
In 2016 we ordained our first elders, Dr. Scott Buchanan and Mr. Keith Hester. We thus became a fully constituted church of the PCA. Since then the Lord has raised up five ruling elders and twelve deacons— all godly men devoted (according to their Biblical calling) to serve, teach, and shepherd the flock of God. In addition, we welcomed a new assistant pastor, Rev. Michael Bauer, who served for three years before moving to Virginia to help organize a new PCA church plant. The Lord has blessed us over the years with strong and godly leaders!
In 2020, the Lord provided a new home for Christ Church on Wando Park Blvd in Mt Pleasant. After a major renovation led by Mr. Jake Earle, Mr, Ralph Charles, Mrs. Cathy Paterson, Mrs. Kristin Gee, and several others, we hosted our first worship service in January of 2021. In 2022 we hired Miss Rachael McIntosh, our Director of Media and Communications. She has been an extraordinary blessing to the church. Since our early days we’ve continued to make mature disciples through Reformed worship, weekly studies, monthly fellowships, small groups, biblical evangelism, hospitality, and loving fellowship. We are being conformed more and more to the image of Christ through the efficacious means of grace, and lifelong — no, eternal — relationships for the glory of God.
Beloved members of Christ Church, what can we say to these things?! God has been so good to us. So very good to us! Therefore, may this ten year anniversary compel us afresh to praise God for His grace and faithfulness! But not only that! May it move us live for His glory with greater gratitude, zeal, and fidelity. And may it drive us to reach our neighbors and the nations with the gospel that we so dearly cherish.
It has been an indescribable joy and honor to serve as your pastor for the past decade. Thank you for being so kind, encouraging, and supportive to me and my family over these many years. There is no place I’d rather be! Let us celebrate God’s faithfulness today. He alone is worthy of our praise.
Your pastor, servant, and friend,