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An Update from the 200th Anniversary Committee

By The Rev. Mark Scott

On behalf of the 200th Anniversary Committee of the South Carolina Synod

Even though we begin the Lenten season today, we also consider today’s date—St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. Both of these dates include much history. Every February also marks Black History Month which calls to our attention a rich and sometimes difficult history in South Carolina. One of the brighter aspects of that history is the work that began in South Carolina to minister to African American people in the state beginning in the 1820’s.

This month, we begin the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the South Carolina Synod. And, as we begin this celebration during Black History Month, we also note that the first African American Lutheran pastor, Jehu Jones, began his ministry in Charleston at a time when the Synod was beginning its ministry as well.

If you read the Minutes of the South Carolina Synod for its founding year in 1824, you quickly realize two things: 1) The fledgling Synod of South Carolina and Adjacent States came into existence with few resources and 2) While the beginning of an organization for the Synod occurred during at the beginning of the year, Synod did not fully exist as an ecclesiastical entity until December of that year.

In fact, the history of the South Carolina Synod includes many milestones relating to the history of the Lutheran Church in the United States. And, while this history includes significant controversies, it also includes many developments that took root in the wider mission of the Lutheran Church in this country too.

This year, we look forward to celebrating this history together. All of our congregations in the South Carolina Synod share in the stories we will share. Many of you are descendants of notable people in the history of the Synod too. We hope that our celebration of two centuries of ministry will inspire you as leaders and members of congregations. And we pray that God will continue to bless and guide us as we serve into the future God provides.

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ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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