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Founded in 1861, we, the family of St. Peter’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, believe that God has truly blessed us to survive as a congregation for 149 years. As a part of the Church Universal we strive to do God’s will by spreading the Good News and winning Souls for Christ. By doing so, we are certain to continue to worship together and continue to bask in the glory of God and in His blessings.

Our Pastor, Reverend Dr. Robert Earl Kennedy came to St. Peter's in January 2007 with energy and a vision for change. He saw a need to grow the fouministries to include: Youth, Women’s and Men’s Bible Studies, numerous Ministries, the St. Peter's Academy, and the non-profit St. Peter's AME Foundation.  As a church family we look for Pastor Kennedy to lead the congregation to higher heights, as he is led by God.

What Is "AME"?

The acronym "AME" means
African Methodist Episcopal and refers to a Christian faith founded in 1816 by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The word African means that the church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa, or that it was for persons of African descent only.

The church's roots are of the family of Methodist churches. Methodism provides an orderly system of rules and regulations and places emphasis on a plain and simple gospel.

Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. The chief executive and administrative officers of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination are the Bishops of the church.

Our History

In the year 1861, a small group of faithful Christians gathered in a community known as Turnball, in the township of North Charleston. From this gathering, a church was started in a tent under the leadership of Reverend Caesar Smalls as pastor and the Reverend Carr as presiding elder. This church was called Saint Peter’s African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Reverend Thomas succeeded the Reverend Smalls as pastor and at this time, the wooden structure for the church was built. The officers serving during the time of this historical event were: Ishmael Grant, Cyrus Washington Grant, Father Gaillard, Father William Lecque, Father Silcox, Pomphey Singleton, Isaac Wright and Daniel Moultrie.

The history of the church during the 1890’s through the 1920’s is vague. The membership continued to grow with no major change in the physical structure of the church.

1930's

  • In the 1930’s, under the leadership of Reverend C.S.J. Mallette, indoor plumbing was installed and the land used as the church cemetery was purchased.
  •  Following the pastoral leadership of Reverend Mallette was Reverend J.C. Murray who led the church from 1936 – 1937.

1940's
 

  • Under the direction of W.W. Wells, the lengths of the church was extended and the choir stand was moved from the back upstairs location to the area behind the pulpit. The members then commissioned Brother Abraham Lecque to brick in the exterior of the church.
  • The Reverend J.R. Stevenson led the church from 1946 – 1947
  • The Reverend L.D. Gamble from led from 1947 to 1948
  • The Reverend Samson Brown led in 1948
  • In 1949, Reverend W.E. Richardson took leadership of the congregation and the church continued to grow. Under Reverend Richardson’s leadership, stained glass windows were installed in 1953.

1960's - 1970's
 

  • In 1960, the Reverend William Jackson became the pastor and under his administration a new organ was purchased.
  • Later, in 1971, the educational building was erected.
  • In 1973, this building was dedicated as the Reverend William Jackson Educational Building.
  • On December 7, 1973, Reverend Jackson retired from the ministry, ending his thirteen year pastoralship at St. Peter’s.
  • The Reverend George W. Brown, Sr. then received the assignment to pastor Saint Peter’s. Under his leadership, land adjoining the present site was purchased and funds were raised to build a new edifice to replace the one hundred and nineteen year old structure built in 1861.

1980's
 

  • On September 28, 1980, the groundbreaking ceremony initiated the beginning of the new structure.
  • In March of 1981, the actual construction of the sanctuary began under the direction of the pastor, Reverend Brown and the Trustee Board.
  • Finally, on September 13, 1981, the congregation marched from the old sanctuary into the new edifice, signifying the completion of a seven year building program.
  • The Bishop Frank Madison Reid, Jr., dedicated the new church sanctuary on September 27, 1981
  • In November 1981, the cornerstone was laid. The kitchen and educational building were renovated and the parking area was paved in 1982.
  • In 1985, church members purchased gold plates which were mounted on the pews as part of a major fundraising rally which, with God’s gracious blessings, enabled us to pay off the church mortgage for the new sanctuary in 1986, four years from the loan origination date.


From 1981 until 1991, the old structure was closed and abandoned by some. However, in the hearts and minds of most members, there was a burning desire to remodel this aged and worn building that meant so much to us. Some said that it was too old for remodeling and should be demolished, but we prayed and kept hope alive knowing that we could make this structure usable once more with God’s help. On September 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo further damaged the structure. Fortunately, insurance and a mortgage enabled us to achieve our goal in May 1991. Under the leadership of the Reverend George W. Brown, Sr., the Trustee Board and the members of the church, the old church was renovated and turned into the Saint Peter’s Family Life Center.

Reverend John Randolph, Jr.
Reverend John Randolph, Jr.
On November 21, 1992, Reverend Jonathan J. Baker was appointed pastor. The church continued to grow. In 1994, under the leadership of Reverend Baker and the Trustee Board the new sanctuary was remodeled.

On December 29, 1996, the Reverend John Randolph, Jr. accepted the assignment to pastor Saint Peter’s. In 1997, the educational building was renovated. In addition, a new church van and church bus was purchased.

On March 20, 1999, the Reverend Levern Stevenson was assigned to lead St. Peter’s Church Family. On July 15, 1999, under the direction of Reverend Stevenson and the Trustee Board, a new computer system was purchased. Reverend Stevenson was very motivated to ensure all eligible members were registered to vote and provided access to voter education. He was also a staunch supporter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Reverend Stevenson remained with Saint Peter’s through a difficult illness, until his retirement in August 2002.
Presiding Elder Allen W. Parrot
Presiding Elder Allen W. Parrot
The Presiding Elder Allen W. Parrot led the congregation for several months until December 2003 when the Reverend George W. Brown, Jr., son of our previous pastor and now Retired Presiding Elder George W. Brown, Sr. accepted his assignment to Saint Peter’s African Methodist Episcopal Church. In less than one year, Reverend George W. Brown, Jr.’s spiritual guidance has lead to the growth of the congregation. In addition, under Reverend Brown’s leadership, a new conference room/computer lab was built and a new state of the art organ was purchased. Reverend Brown’s charismatic leadership has revived the St. Peter’s African Methodist Episcopal Church family.


In January 2007 Bishop Preston Warren Williams, II appointed a young anointed Pastor to shepherd this congregation named Reverend Robert Earl Kennedy. Pastor Kennedy came with energy and a vision for change. He saw a need to grow the ministries to include: Youth, Women’s and Men’s Bible Studies, Youth Ministry, and a Grieve Ministry. With Pastor Kennedy’s leadership the Ebony Pearls and Young Lions were revitalized. Both of these programs focus on leading and mentoring young boys and girls, respectively, to becoming respectful and successful young women and men of the community.
Pastor Kennedy has become a vital part of the North Charleston community as he has been called upon to preach the word at several North Charleston Churches. In January 2008 the Interdenominational Ministers Alliance welcomed Pastor Kennedy to the Low country. Pastor Kennedy is a welcomed presence in our local schools as he embarks on being a mentor to our youth.