Church History

Jerusalem Church (JUMC) was one of the earliest Methodist churches. Begun just seventy-five years after the birth of Methodism in 1738, JUMC traces its history to 1813. During the Civil War services were erratic, however in 1867 a re-organization meeting was held. From that year forward JUMC has been servicing the spiritual needs of eastern Orangeburg county.

The first church building was located three miles north of the present town of Elloree at the sit of what is now the Lutheran cemetery. Manny Methodists lived near the Lutheran Church which was on the Moncks Corner Road (near the present S.C. Old Highway Number 6); and many Lutherans lived near the Methodist Church. In 1879, the congregations exchanged buildings and property. Two brothers, John and Richard Magill, built and gave the building which became “Old Jerusalem.” Remaining for many years at the site of the present JUMC cemetery was an unpainted cypress log house of worship that housed a little pump organ. This building was destroyed by fire in 1908.

In 1909 the present sanctuary was built. The University of South Carolina’s Carolinian Library holds the “Baxter Papers” which is a collection of bills and letters relating to the construction of the church. Dr. Baxter was a local physician and an active lay person in the Methodist Church. In 1958, the church was remodeled and classrooms and a kitchen were added to the rear of the sanctuary. In 1985 new vinyl siding was added to the exterior of the church. In September 1989, JUMC was in the path of Hurricane Hugo, and extensive repairs were necessary to the roof and siding. In the process of repairing the sanctuary the beautify wood vaulted ceiling, previously lowered by a false ceiling to conserve heat, was revealed and restored. Some say it makes them think of what the ceiling of Noah’s Ark may have looked. The current Fellowship Hall was constructed in 1994 and in the mid 2000’s the parking lot was paved, concrete walkways were added, members a bus garage and playground for the children was erected.