James Shealy, 1896
S. P. Schumpert, 1900
(In 1901 or 1902, Mr. A. R. Taylor, a native of R ed Bank, began
holding religious services for the congregation. Later licensed by
the Synod, he served until the congregation became inactive.)
C. J. Sox, 1921-24
James H. Baily
J. D. Shealy
A. B. Obenschain, 1924-25
F. K. Roof, Sr., 1925-26
C. J. Derrick, 1929-30
D. M. Shull, 1930-37
L. H. Jeffcoat, 1937-42
B. S. Dasher, 1942-49
J. L. Peeler, 1950-52
C. E. Lindler, 1953-55
R. L. Fraser, 1955-57
Gordon Haigler, 1958-61
Roy W. Werner, 1962-65
H. W. Dowd, 1965-71
William R. Cobb, 1972-79
Olin W. Chassereau, 1980-87
Mark A. Coulter, 1988 - 1999
William Kyzer, Assoc., 1998-20
G. Willis Eiwen, 2000-2007 Andrea Rice 2008-2013 Nathan Rice 2008-2013 Kevin Ogilvie 2015 - present
St. James Church was organized in October, 1921, after the
Rev. C. J. Sox had preached – without compensation – for two years
at Red Bank in a “Union Church Building,” looking forward to the
organization of a Lutheran Church.
As far back as 1737, there were Lutheran settlers in this area,
known then as Saxe-Gotha Township, later to become Red Bank. Some
time in the early 1880’s, the religious people of Red Bank began
conducting a “Union” Sunday School in an old school building. It was
here that the first Lutheran service was held, in 1888 , conducted
by the Rev. James H. Baily. The Methodists and Baptists were also
holding services in the same building. Together, the three groups
built a “Union Church” in 1890, a building which is still standing.
Under the leadership of Pastor Baily, the Union Evangelical Lutheran
Church was organized on August 10, 1890, with fewer than twenty-five
members. On October 21st, the congregation was admitted into the
South Carolina Synod, and placed in the Union Parish. The Rev. J. D.
Shealy was called as pastor, to serve in this capacity for two
years. He was to be the only full-time pastor the congregation was
to have for the next thirty-eight years – a fact which probably
accounts for the congregation’s slow growth in the early years.
In 1912, the congregation became inactive. Until that time, the
following had served as pastors: George S. Bearden, 1894; James
Shealy, 1896; S. P. Schumpert, 1900. In 1901 or 1902, Mr. A. R.
Taylor, a native of Red Bank, began holding religious services for
the congregation. Later licensed by the Synod, he served until the
congregation became inactive.
In 1921 the congregation was re-activated under the leadership of
Pastor C. J. Sox, with about thirty-eight members. On February 2,
1930, the congregation became part of the Pelion Parish, with the
Rev. D. M. Shull as pastor. It was under his leadership that the
congregation built its own church edifice.
When the Pelion Parish became vacant in 1936, a recommendation was
made that the Parish be divided, and St. James and St. Matthew’s,
Lexington, formed the Red Bank Parish. Sixteen years later, in 1952,
the congregation became a separate parish, calling its own pastor
and becoming self-supporting. Another ten years later, in June of
1962, a new and attractive church building was completed and
dedicated at a service conducted by the Rev. Shelton Moose,
Synodical Field Worker. In 1967 a new parsonage valued at $21,000
The seventeen year period from 1971 to 1987 was one in which St.
James engaged in making extensive improvements to its facilities. In
1972, air conditioning was installed in the parsonage and a
basketball and tennis court was built behind the church. In
addition, the Lutheran Church Women had new carpet installed in the
sanctuary. The possibility for further improvements became more
evident on November 18, 1973, when the indebtedness on the existing
church building was paid in full and the mortgage burned, four years
ahead of schedule. In 1976, the parsonage was enlarged by adding a
dining room and carport and by expanding the laundry room. A new
Zimmer pipe organ was installed in the sanctuary in 1979, and the
next year an outdoor ramp was installed, making the church building
more accessibly for the aged and handicapped. In 1982, a sound
system was installed in the sanctuary, and a van was purchased. A
new hallway to the nursery was built in 1983, and new carpet was
installed in the educational building. During the same year new
cushions were installed in the pews, and a new kitchen was added to
the activities building.
In 1979 an additional staff
position was created when Patricia Hood was hired as full-time
organist/choir director. In 1985, Mr. David Birnbaum, member of St.
James, graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and was
called as the pastor of Our Shepherd, Hartsville.
As the population in the Red Bank/Lexington area continues to grow,
St. James anticipates the opportunity for its own growth and service
to the community.