First United Methodist Church of Conway, South Carolina
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY
of
First United Methodist Church of Conway, South Carolina

 
1785-1815
Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury’s many visits to Kingston (Conway) preceded the organization of a Methodist congregation in Conway.
 
1828
A Methodist group began meeting in the home of Mrs. Jane Norman. This makes the First United Methodist Church of Conway the oldest church congregation continuously in existence in Conway. The original collection bowl is still in the possession of the church; it is displayed in the church parlor.
 
1842
The land on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street was given by Mary Hillen to the Methodist Church.
 
1844-45
The first church building, a medium-sized, rectangular, frame building with three large windows on each side was constructed on the site of the current Hut Bible Class building.
 
1845
The Methodist Episcopal Cemetery opened, centered around the original wooden church which faced Main Street. There are 53 graves in the cemetery.
 
1852
The first parsonage was built on the present site of the Peoples Federal Building.
 
1875
The second parsonage was bought on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Elm Street (later moved, now Pinson home).
 
1878
The Women’s Foreign Missionary Society was organized, one of the oldest in South Carolina.
 
1898
The original church building was dismantled and replaced by a second sanctuary. The church membership was 113; the new Gothic style building cost $3,500. It has ornamental windows of opal glass, the main ones being 15 feet high. It was dedicated on Sunday, October 23, 1898.
 
1910
The third mission-style sanctuary was constructed at a cost of $13,000 for a membership of 208. The building had a seating capacity of 500. It presently serves as the church fellowship hall.
 
1916
The third parsonage was purchased (present Kleine home).
 
1917
The Service Class was formed. It is the oldest Sunday School Class still in existence.
 
1919
The Hut Bible Class was formed.
 
1938
An educational building was added to the rear of the mission-style sanctuary.
 
1940
The Women’s Foreign Missionary Society changed its name to Women’s Society of Christian Service.
 
1943
The fourth parsonage was purchased (site of present sanctuary).
 
1952
An addition was made to the west side of the educational building.
 
1954
The present parsonage was constructed.
 
1958
The church membership reached an all-time high of 1,200; and a new congregation, Trinity Methodist, was formed.
 
1961
The present Georgian-style sanctuary, with a seating capacity of 600, and educational building addition were completed at a cost of $164,000.
 
1972
WSCS and Wesleyan Guild united as United Methodist Women.
 
1973
 
1982
The Jenkins house and Holmes property were acquired.
 
1983
A capital improvement plan was implemented to renovate church buildings.
 
1999
The Family Life Center was consecrated on November 14, 1999.
 
 
First United Methodist Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Register of Historic Methodist Sites, has an official SC State Historical Marker, has been designated an Horry County Historic Site, and is included on Conway’s Historical Trail.