Emmanuel United Methodist Church
Sumter SC


Who we are

Emmanuel United Methodist Church located in Sumter, South Carolina is one of the oldest churches in the city of Sumter. Ministries are provided for many through its soup kitchen program, bible study, stewardship involvement, age level activities and weekly services. Our doors are opened daily to minister to the various needs of its members and community.

Outreach is an ongoing project for our church. We welcome all who comes through our doors. It is our pleasure to be a church of giving to our community, neighbors, and members.

Our mission shall be to create innovative meaningful ministry programs. Emmanuel envisions that a more vibrant worship service, combined with a deeper Biblical perspective, will enable us to nurture persons through Christian education, Outreach, and spiritual development. A major emphasis will be to involve the youth, focus on Evangelism, fellowship, and firmly establish our church as a Shalom Community.

Church Address

Emmanuel United Methodist Church
421 S Main St
Sumter, SC 29150
United States
Phone: (803) 773-6197
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Church Pastor

Rev. Marvis  L. Stewart
Rev. Marvis L. Stewart
421 S Main St
Sumter, SC 29150
United States
Phone: (803) 773-6197
Download Pastor Rev. Marvis L. Stewart vCard   Edit

Quote of the Day
Matthew 17:20

...If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.




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Rev. Marvis L. Stewart   Edit
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421 S Main St, Sumter, SC
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Service Times

Sunday School: 9:00- 10:00 A.M.

Church Service: 10:00 A.M.- 12:00 P.M.

Service Times last updated on the 19th of February, 2020   Edit

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History of the church

History of Emmanuel United Methodist Church 1864-2018

Bishop Doctor Jonathan Holston, Resident Bishop
Reverend Doctor Robin Dease, Hartsville District Superintendent
Rev. Marvis L. Stewart, Pastor

History of Emmanuel United Methodist Church

In the late 1860’s a group of Christian men and women secured a lot on the corner of Bee and Broad Streets (known today as Bee and South Main Streets)
Rev. Frank Whittemore was assigned as the first pastor to the Bush Harbor mission. A lot was purchased for $200 and deeded to the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. A school was built, and it served for many years as the only place in the community where” colored children” could receive a primary education.
The following pastors served at Emmanuel from 1866 to 1901:

✓ 1866 Rev. B. F. Whittemore
✓ 1867 Rev. J.R. Tomblyn
✓ 1868 Rev. Scipi O’ Rea
✓ 1870 Rev. Burrell James
(The first negro pastor was assigned to Emmanuel)
✓ 1874 Rev. S.S. Lawson*
✓ 1876 Rev. E.C. Brown
✓ 1881 Rev. J. B. Middleton
✓ 1882 Rev. J. R. Townsend
✓ 1883 Rev. W. M. Brickley
✓ 1885 Rev. J. R. Townsend
✓ 1888 Rev. J. B. Middleton
✓ 1892 Rev. J. A. Brown
✓ 1894 Rev. C. S. Scott
✓ 1896 Rev. M.M. Mouzon
✓ 1896 Rev. W.M.R. A. Palmer

Plans for the twentieth Century Brick were conceived when Rev, WM RA Palmer was pastor and soon afterward, construction on the new church was started.
Rev. J.C. Martin was pastor in 1901when the cornerstone on the assembly hall was laid in September, and the cornerstone on the main building was laid in October of that year. Led by Rev. Martin the congregation marched across the street from the Bush Harbor to witness the laying of the cornerstone on the Main Street building (sanctuary) in October,1901.

The Rev. J.C. Martin served as pastor in 1901 and the Rev. N.T Bowen served as pastor from 1902 to 1905.

Rev, W. M. Hannah served Emmanuel from 1905 to 1912. During his tenure, the Twin Windows Club was founded. It This club paid for the windows in the church and the congregation moved into the new place of worship during Rev. Hannah’s tenure.

Rev. J. W. Moultrie was pastor of Emmanuel from 1912 to 1915. During this time, the congregation paid off the 6,500 debt that was owed on the church.

From 1915 to 1917 Rev. J. F. Paige was pastor of Emmanuel.

Rev. R. L. Hickmon served Emmanuel from 1927 to 1932 He was followed by

Rev. J. W. Taylor, who served from 1927 to 1932. During Rev. Taylor’s tenure a heating system was installed and the lighting was changed from the old chandeliers to the new lighting system.

From 1932- 1934 Rev. R. F. Freeman was the pastor, he was followed by Rev. S.M. Miller who served from 1934 to 1939. In 1939, the church purchased the land where the Sunday School building
now stands for $300.00. In 1940 Rev. P.E. Mingo served Emmanuel.

Rev. C.F. Ferguson served as pastor of Emmanuel from 1940 to 1959. He added to and made the following improvements.

✓ October 22, 1945 first financial effort to raise funds to build the educational annex.
✓ March 1951 groundbreaking for new structure
✓ 1952 parsonage was renovated
✓ 1952 Hosted the meeting of the Women’s Society of Christian Service of the Central Jurisdiction
✓ The Annual Conference convened at Emmanuel in the following years: 1884, 1904, 1911, 1922, 1930, 1939, 1948¸1952, 1958, and 1966.

Rev. Theodore H. Fisher served as pastor from 1959 to 1962/ Rev/ W.M. Stokes served from 1962 to 1970. During his tenure, the debit on the parsonage was paid off. A new heating and cooling system plus a new roof were added. Other highlights included the purchasing of property on Manning Avenue at a cost of $17,00.0, The parsonage and the church’s sanctuary were redecorated also
Rev. James Bradley led the Emmanuel’s church family from 1970-1974. He was responsible for paying off the mortgage of the church.

Rev. John E. Spears served from 1974-1977; the mortgage on the property on Manning Avenue was paid off during Rev. Spears’ administration. He died during his tenure at Emmanuel. Rev. Ernest N. Heape, South Carolina District Superintendent served as pastor of Emmanuel Until the first Sunday in August 1977.

Rev, Clyde Calhoun was assigned to Emmanuel the first Sunday in August 1977. He served from 1977 to 1982. Under his administration Emmanuel became a pilot church under the Ethnic Minority Local Church Program, participated in the Student Intern Program, purchased a church van and a new parsonage.

In June 1982 Rev. Dr. Willis T. Goodwin began his service as pastor of Emmanuel. During his administration, the church initiated a Soup kitchen feeding program, as well as a legal service program. A Restoration Drive was undertaken and culminated with the homecoming of Bishop James Thomas who is the first African American Bishop elected in the United Methodist Church. Rev. Goodwin ably led the congregation in numerous church and community service projects, which moved Emmanuel to the forefront of Methodism in the South Carolina Conference. The Willis T. Goodwin Family Life Center was erected and named in his honor.

June 1990 to1992 brought the dynamic leader of Rev. A. Clark Jerkins. Under his leadership the church took on new vitality and new ideas, which rejuvenated Christian Leadership. New heating and air conditioning units were installed in the Ferguson Educational annex and facilities in the soup kitchen were modernized and improved.

In June 1992, Emmanuel welcomed Rev. Lee C. Bines as the new pastor. Under his leadership continued growth and improvements were made. The congregation was spiritually awakened in June of 1995.
Rev. Harrison D. Ervin was pastor of Emmanuel from 1095 to 2000. During this time the church continued to modernize its facilities. He installed new heating and air conditioning units in the Ferguson Educational annex and facilities in the soup kitchen were modernized and improved. Property was purchased next door to the church at 415 South Main Street. Emmanuel participated in the Conference Shalom Program and expanded community outreach efforts.

Rev. Kay Adams Best served at Emmanuel from 200 to 2002. She was Emmanuel’s first female pastor and a powerful preacher. Under her administration, the church took on new vitality.
Rev. Willie Wilson was Emmanuel’s pastor from 2002 to 2006. With his leadership, Funds were raised to replace the roof and repair the stain glass windows.in the church. Emmanuel participated in the Natural Church Development Program and worship, music and ministries were improved.

Rev. Joyce Chiles Timmons served at Emmanuel from 2006 to 2011 During her tenure, Emmanuel continued to grow spiritually. Major renovations were done on the interior of the sanctuary and on the parsonage.

Rev. Doris R. Bright has served at Emmanuel from 2011 to 2016. During her tenure involvement of lay servants in leading and assisting with worship and ministries increased; and study of the word by members through regularly scheduled Bible Study group was encouraged.

Rev. Alexander Baker served Emmanuel from 2016 to 2018. Rev. Baker continued the strong ministry of scheduled Bible Study and the use of lay servants as assistant in leading worship on regular bases.

Presently, Rev. Marvis L. Stewart is serving Emmanuel. His tenure began June of 2018.

With God’s guidance, we will continue to be a caring church who believes that “Christ calls Emmanuel United Methodist Church to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of all persons.”
10/21/18 Julia Wells, Church Historian   Edit

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The power of Christian prayer "Prayer is the acid test of devotion."
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