from Page 4
...the last years of his ministry, and no doubt, kept the Church open
after Mr. Moore's death until such time as Mr. Motte could come over from Cheraw to hold
services for us in 1877. Just at the outbreak of the War, Colonel Archibald Waring
purchased the plantation, The Savannas, for a permanent home, and he and his family became
Christ Church people.
In 1860 Mrs. Frances Church came as a refugee from Charleston to the
junction which afterwards became the town of Florence. In her room at the hotel she had
the Episcopal service every Sunday morning getting whomsoever she could to conduct it. Mr.
Howe, as we said before, living in the Christ Church neighborhood, came to her aid and
gave a service whenever he could. This little band became our St. John's Church; and from
then on the history of Christ Church, eighteen years the older, and St. John's is very
closely interwoven. Separated rather than connected by six miles of dirt road that was
almost impassable in winter, they shared the same minister almost continuously until
today. At the end of the war a number of those families who had meant so much to Christ
Church moved into the town of Florence and helped to build St. John's as zealously as they
had worked in Christ Church. Among these were the Harllees, Lucases, and Maxwells.
Mr. Motte was followed in December 1879 by the Rev. Mr. Edwin Steele
who came here a very young man and naturally chose his wife from among the girls in his
congregation. He was married to Mary Ashby, December14, 1880 in Christ Church by the Rev.
Mr. Motte. He soon resigned to go to Orangeburg, but returned to live among us and serve
us again until his health failed and he was obliged to retire. He died at the age of
thirty-four in a cottage known as the "Lodge" on his father-in-law's plantation
March5, 1885. Like Mr. Moore he is buried among those he served at Christ Church.
I have no dates to substantiate this statement, but I think it was just
after Mr. Steele's death that Christ Church was reduced from a parish to a mission.
Mr. Motte served us again until the fall of 1888, when the Rev. Mr. W.
A. Guerry, fresh from the Seminary and overflowing with enthusiasm and energy,
came as an inspiration to four charges: Florence, Darlington, Marion,
and as it was then known Mars Bluff. He had everything that was needed in a minister, even
a fine voice to help with the singing. In 1893 he was called to Sewanee to become
Headmaster of the Grammar School there.
We were so fortunate as to have come to us in the fall of 1893, Rev. R.
W. Barnwell, well known for his brilliant thinking and charming personality. In 1895 he
was called to Grace Church, Charleston, South Carolina, as assistant rector, and for the
next several months Rev. Mr. William H. Barnwell of Stateburg gave us an occasional
service. He was followed by Rev. Mr. James McGruder of Mississippi then rector of St.
Matthews Church in Darlington. Mr. McGruder was a very likable and able man and we hated
to give him up. In 1897 Rev. Mr. R. Barnwell returned to Florence and ministered to Christ
Church until 1901, when he resigned to go to St. Pauls in Richmond, Virginia.
In 1901 Rev. Mr. Harold Thomas became rector of St. John's in Florence
and came out once a month for a service in Christ Church. Later Mr. Thomas accepted a call
to St. James in Wilmington, North Carolina and was followed at St. John's by the Rev. Mr.
Edw. Callendar, a Scotchman, who served St. John's and Christ Church from 1905 to 1907.
It was under Mr. Callendar's leadership that the first women's
organization was formed at Christ Church; in fact I think it was the first working group
of any kind to be formed in the congregation, It was called "The Christ Church
Guild" and in the following ten years did a tremendous amount of work for the Home at
York and for the community. Mrs. Eli Gregg was our first president, Mrs. J. Wallace, vice
president, and Mrs. Robert Rogers, Sr., secretary and treasurer. We adopted a daughter at
the Home, Lurline Philips, and had so much fun buying and making her clothes.
When Mr. Thomas came back to St. John's in 1907, and we found we were
not to have him, we were bitterly disappointed; for all of us were devotedly attached to
Mr. Thomas. We could not have found a better person to take his... continued