Blessed to be a Blessing
Our journey began in the fall of 2003 following the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. Several couples met for Holy Eucharist in the living room of Roger and Headley Smith, Roger being a retired rector of St. Helena’s Parish, Beaufort.
By the fall of 2003, it had become quite clear that there was need for a more inclusive worship option for those who chose to continue in the path of The Episcopal Church, as distinct from other parishes in the Beaufort/Port Royal area. Following that initial meeting at the Smiths’, we became a Sunday evening house church, meeting twice a month in members’ homes for Bible Study, discussion and Evening Prayer or Eucharist (if a celebrant was available).
In November 2009, we moved to the historic Union Church in Port Royal where we continue to meet Sundays with additional services on special days. The Union Church is administered by the Historic Port Royal Foundation which rents the building to St. Mark’s for services while it maintains a museum on site—this arrangement has been a positive experience for us all.
We also rent the St. Mark’s Center, ½ block from the Union Church, which serves as administrative office space for our part-time parish administrator and our part-time programs assistant, as well as space for Christian Education and fellowship activities.
During our evolution, we attempted to maintain and improve ties with the Diocese of South Carolina, hoping to be recognized someday as an official Episcopal entity. We were unsuccessful. However, in 2012, the bishop and many of the congregations and clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina separated from The Episcopal Church. Reorganization of the Diocese began immediately, and The Rt. Reverend Charles vonRosenberg was soon elected Provisional Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
At the March 9, 2013 Diocesan Convention, St. Mark’s was recognized and admitted with full mission status into the Diocese.
On November 14, 2015 St. Mark's Episcopal Church became a parish of the Diocese of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. And on March 1, 2017, the Rev. Roy Tripp became the first full-time rector of St. Mark's.
St. Mark's Articles of Association can be found here - St. Mark's Articles of Association