All Saints’ Church celebrates 60 years
By the Rev. Jason Hamshaw, new rector at All Saints’
All Saints’ Church is a Christian community in the Anglican tradition with a lively history in Florence. This year, we celebrated the occasion of two great anniversaries- the 60th year of All Saints’ Church and the 500th anniversary of The Reformation.
As we celebrated our history, we sought to honor the 32 charter families of All Saints’ Church, who planted this church from St. John’s Florence. These families shared a vision more than 60 years ago of reaching the growing community of Florence, and that vision is carried out still today.
So, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of All Saints’ Church and the 500th Anniversary of The Reformation, All Saints’ Church presented St. John’s Church with The Luther Bible (1819).
All Saints’ Church is believed to have come in possession of The Luther Bible through the Barnwell family who collected many rare books over their years. The Rev. R. W. Barnwell was a priest at St. John’s, and his sister-in-law (Miss Martha Brunson) gave the first acre of land on which All Saints’ Church was built. The giving of this bible therefore is not only tied to the 500th anniversary of The Reformation, but also to the history of both churches. With this symbol, we are happy to celebrate the partnership of Anglican churches standing on The Word of God. A phrase no doubt used by Martin Luther himself comes to mind: Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum (‘The Word of the Lord endures forever’).
Many of our founding members have passed away, but their vision lives on in Florence and some of their families still attend All Saints’ Church. We have two schools operating out of our campus: All Saints’ Episcopal Day School and All Saints’ Parent’s Morning Out. In 1960, All Saints’ Church opened All Saints’ Episcopal Day School (3K-6 grade), which offers a very high standard of education while caring for the spiritual needs of the individual. They are truly “Building Strong Foundations.”
All Saints’ Parent’s Morning Out (PMO) cares for children from 3 months through 3K, providing a safe environment for children to learn and grow in their early years.
The impetus for Pelican House in Florence also came to the members of All Saints’ Church in 1979, when they identified that housing was the greatest need for the elderly in the Florence area. They worked together with Cumberland Methodist Church and the name ‘Pelican House’ was suggested as both churches shared a heritage through the ‘Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts’ whose adopted Christian symbol was the Pelican.
There is much to say about the dedication of All Saints’ Church parishioners and their love for the community of Florence. Our deacons give a little insight into our love of service and learning. Deacon Barbara Holliman is a professor at Francis Marion University and Deacon Sam Turbeville serves as chaplain to the police force in Florence. They both serve the community with open hearts and hands.
As we celebrate our rich and full vision from generations past, we look forward to our future in Florence, as we seek to build the Kingdom of God, while loving and serving the community here.