History of Lyttleton Street UMC

On April 5, 1787, the first formal Methodist service was held in Camden, SC.  The sermon topic was “They Made Light of It.”  Bishop Francis Asbury preached.  Later in the day, he presided and organized a church that has continued in Camden for over two centuries.  – Rachel Montgomery, Methodism in Camden

The Early Church Years

An unimpressive structure, the first meeting house in Camden was small, long, and plain. The rudimentary structure was erected circa 1798 on King Street, located between Church and Campbell streets. A few years later, the building saw a new coat of paint as well as an enlargement of the existing structure for a growing congregation. After the 1825 Quarterly Conference, which was the quarterly Methodist meeting, a new lot located on West DeKalb Street was purchased and a new church built. The new building was very simple, but did feature some plain adornments. The project was completed in 1828 and would serve the church for just over fifty years. A small parsonage was added at the rear of the property in 1830.

Growth Into The Current Structure

Original brick sanctuary of Lyttleton Street Church.

Original brick sanctuary of Lyttleton Street Church.

Thanks to two generous members of the congregation, Mrs. Sarah Ciples and Mrs. Amelia Haile, the church property grew. The two members deeded about four acres of land at Hampton Street and Lyttleton Street to the church in 1851. This land would form a component of the modern-day church campus. They built and furnished a ten-room Methodist parsonage on this land.

The early part of 1875 saw the appointment of a building committee tasked with constructing a new sanctuary for worship. The site chosen for the simple rectangular brick structure was on the property endowed by Mrs. Ciples and Mrs. Haile. The structure was completed only a year later, and was dedicated in 1879. This structure remains today, with some modifications.

In 1896, the Lyttleton Street Church was enlarged by twenty feet and an organ was installed. Later, in 1899, the brick exterior was plastered. In 1900, Sunday School rooms and a steeple were added. In subsequent years, many improvements and renovations retained the original charm of this stately sanctuary.

Continued Growth in the Modern Era

Lyttleton Street UMC

Lyttleton Street UMC, stately in its modern form.

Built in two stages, the modern Education Building was added in 1959 and 1965. The Music-Fellowship annex, office, library, and covered walkways were finished in 1980. In 1992, the Family Life Center was completed and consecrated to the glory of God. We confidently place our future in God’s hands. It is Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church’s goal to continue growing into the future as we serve God through fulfilling our mission “To help establish God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven through Nurture, Outreach and Witness.