Our Church Story

The Presbyterian Church at Ocean Drive Beach was officially organized only ten days after a petition was granted to form a new church. The congregation was ready and the church was officially founded on Friday, April 25, 1947. It was thirty years before the church would return to formally ask the Presbytery to recognize them as “The Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church”.

Until 1950, and the arrival of the Reverend W. D. Arnold, who would serve both the church at Ocean Drive and the Presbyterian church in Loris, SC, the fledgling church was served by various supply ministers.

In 1948, the Perrin family and the McLean family donated adjoining parcels of land on 6th Avenue South in Ocean Drive, and a building fund drive began. The money was raised, and work on the new church was set to begin.

The decision was made to create an artificial hill for the church to rest on, both so that it could be seen easily and so that it could be protected from extensive water damage in the case of flooding. The sanctuary was put into use in 1951.

In 1952 the Reverend Howard Lemming was called to be the first full-time minister at the church. In 1955, the church called Reverend R. G. Balnicky. On January 1, 1957, Reverend Kenneth Little John Hamilton accepted the pastorate of the Ocean Drive Church, and he continued to serve in the pulpit for twenty-five years, until his mandatory retirement.

When Reverend Hamilton retired in 1982, the Search Committee called Mike Andrews, and he served the church until 1986. This courtly Southern gentleman did an excellent job of maintaining the size and vigor of the congregation until Dr. Robert Kantner was called and preached his first sermon on July 2, 1988.

The membership soon grew to over 600, and the church embarked on an extensive building program, with a new fellowship hall and a new sanctuary. And in 1989 Ocean Drive Presbyterian completed the $1 million expansion program.
The new addition was connected to the existing sanctuary which is now used by the youth.

In 2002 Dr. Kantner completed his ministry at ODPC and the church was led by Dr. Arthur Chartier, followed by Dr. Lewis Johnson and Dr. Walter Hickman who all served as interim ministers until the new senior minister Reverend Thomas Clymer was called and preached his first sermon on July 2, 2006.

Reverend Clymer completed his ministry in 2009 and was followed by interim pastors until Reverend Daryle Bush was called to ODPC in 2011.

Under Pastor Daryle’s leadership, we joined A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO) in 2016. We now have 800 members and three services every Sunday and many opportunities to grow in faith and to serve.

CLICK HERE to download a printable copy of our Church History

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