History of Williston United Methodist Church

Methodism in Barnwell County, South Carolina, dates back to the early 1800’s. An exact date is not certain, but a County Methodist Circuit came into existence as part of the Charleston District in 1844. The Reverend G.M. Chrietzburg and the Reverend Peter W. McDaniel were assigned and served the Williston Methodist that year. They were without a church building at that time.

In 1859, Dr. W.W. Smith, an early church leader and generous benefactor, granted a parcel of land in the town of Williston to the Williston Methodist Church to build a house of worship. The following gentlemen were listed as the Trustees for the property: Viz. E. Lartigue, Col. J. Aaron, J.M. Hutto, J.W. Felder, J.W. Tindall, S. Youngblood, and C.L. Eubanks, and the Methodist Church in Williston, South Carolina, was dedicated on April 28, 1859.

There is a list of Pastors as recorded by the Historical Conference of the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church which shows the Williston Church as a part of the Barnwell Circuit, Columbia District, 1850 through 1872. On December 17, 1872, it became the Williston Circuit of the Orangeburg District and remained until December 19, 1903, when it became the Springfield Curcuit. In November, 1914, the Williston Church became part of the Aiken Circuit, Columbia District of the Upper South Carolina Confrence. The Church remained thus until October 1952. At that time, it became a station Appointment with the Blackville Church being added in 1953 and it became the Williston-Blackville Charge.

As early as 1953 there were thoughts among leaders of the church that the congregation downtown had outgrown itself and a new location was needed. This soon became a reality as the new church was erected in two phases, one in 1953 and the last phase in 1956.  The first service of Worship in the new Sanctuary was held on August 12, 1956, with the Reverend H. Levy Rogers, pastor, presiding. In 1954 the church relocated the parsonage and on December 10, 1954, a contract was let to purchase the present lot at 500 Springfield Road. This continues to be the parsonage for the Williston-Blackville Charge.

In 1977, the church saw the need to renovate the present facilities of the church property by insulating the church, updating the electrical system and installing the necessary heating and cooling systems for the entire church plant. Enlargement and renovation of the Sunday School Building and Fellowship Hall were done in 1991. The modernization of the kitchen was also accomplished at this time and is truly a blessing. The Gazebo was constructed in 1992 and an equipment storage building was also added.

The following are the full-time Ministers on record:

H. Levy Rogers 1952 – 1956

Rex V. Martin 1956 – 1960

C.O. Shuler 1960 – 1962

W. T. Boggs 1962 – 1963

Robert J. Howell 1964 – 1969

Clarence Stokes 1969 – 1970

Roy D. Butler 1970 – 1975

Brice B. Blakeney 1975 – 1978

Larry A. Barnes 1978 – 1981

H. Alvin Spradley 1981 – 1985

David Templeton 1985 – 1987

Ed Marsh 1987 – 1991

Thomas S. Summers 1991 – 2006

Cindy Fuller 2006 – 2016

Keith Stewart 2016 – present