Saint James Church: Worshiping in the Presence of the Past: 1720-2020
By: Virginia Brown Bartels
About the Book
This three-hundred-year history of an Anglican church on James Island, near Charleston, South Carolina, portrays details of its priests and its people, beginning in a small, primitive building in a very rural area, and expanding over the years into a three-structure center of worship in a modern suburban community. Worship began when a priest rowed his boat to James Island to conduct services for fewer than twenty people once a month. Today, the church has several priests and several daily worship activities for a congregation consisting of hundreds of members. The account is fascinating as it incorporates almost four hundred pages of historical details based on evolving current events and societal changes, yet the parishioners remain faithful to an unchanging God of grace. Who we are in present times is rooted in past times, and the details gathered within this work from multiple primary and secondary sources come together to portray both a sequential and a topical story of people first living in a colonial agricultural society and eventually adapting to a modern technological era. Readers will be more aware of how faith perpetuates persistence and problem-solving in whatever circumstances arise.
About the Author
Virginia Brown Bartels moved to James Island when she was twelve years old and grew to know and love the area, its people and its history. She has worshiped at Saint James since 1982 and has been blessed to know many of the priests and parishioners personally. As a Winthrop graduate and an English teacher in Charleston County’s public schools for over thirty years, Bartels was privileged to teach primarily American literature and help create and sustain the Teacher Cadet Program. Her educational career, which spanned over a period of forty years, included initiatives in teacher recruitment and teacher training. Together, she and her husband Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Bartels, have five children and ten grandchildren. They treasure their family gatherings, mountain cabin, traveling, gardening and worshiping at St. James.