St. John's Through the Years


1856 - Mrs. Richard Springs, Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Elam, and an elderly African American woman, Aunt Viney Workman, organized the Methodist Church which was to become St. John’s, and which was the first organized church in Rock Hill. The first member was Mr. Shuford Marks and the first sermons were preached in Pine Grove school house, a small log cabin building.

1857 - The little school was too small for the growing band of Methodists. They were given a lot by Mr. Black on the corner of Black Street and Hampton Street. Here was built the first real Methodist Church - finished in 1857. It was a two story wooden structure. The first floor was used as the church and the second story by a Masonic order as their meeting place. Under the floor of the building the goats of the neighborhood took shelter at night. In this church the men sat on one side, the women on the other, and courting couples sat in the middle.

1858 - Rock Hill Methodist became part of the newly organized Rock Hill circuit.


1875 - A new church was erected on Main Street. The steeple contained the town clock and fire bell.

1883 - Methodist Church of Rock Hill added “Saint John’s” to its official name, as several other Methodist congregations were organized.

1890 - St. John’s Methodist became a station church.

1897 - A new church building was erected at the corner of Main and Caldwell Streets. The town clock and bell were mounted in the steeple.


1923 - In 1923 the old church on the corner of East Main and Caldwell was sold and the Witherspoon lot on East White Street was purchased. In 1923 ground was broken for the new church. No contract was given and the church was built with day laborers. In 1924 the old church was torn down and all the material that could be used was used in the new church. Services were held in a tent. When it got too cold in October, services moved to the basement of the new church until January 1925.

1924 - Cornerstone of the present church was laid on January 29, 1924.

1925 - January 18 - First service was held in Oakland/White Street location.


1963 - Renovation and addition of the education wing.

1966 - Weekday kindergarten approved by the Official Board. It is proposed to operate the Kindergarten during the public school year with a three hour morning session for ages 4 and 5.


1988 - June 19 - Groundbreaking ceremony for St. John’s Center.

1989 - Sept. 17 - Consecration Service for St. John’s Center was held.

1995 - June 28 - Dedication of St. John’s Center Grounds and Play Area. Oct. 22 - Dedication of Memorial Garden, Rev. Ted Brazil officiating.

1999 - Nov. 4 - Huddleston Hall, St. John’s Chapel, and William and Mary Long Stage dedicated.


2001 - Journey To Bethlehem was held for the first time. It was attended by about 4,000 visitors.

2006 - Groundbreaking took place for the Children and Youth Building.

2007 - Children and youth building opened.

2012 - Fulfilling Freedom Debt Reduction Campaign initiated.

This is only a brief account of the history of St. John's United Methodist Church. If you would like to know more about the church's history, please ask to be connected with the Committee on Records and History.