Brief History

Summer Memorial Lutheran Church 
A congregation established in 1910

 

Summer Memorial Lutheran Chuch, Newberry, is a congregation with a faithful and exciting past, though we live with the conviction that our best days are still ahead.

For more than a century, the people of Summer Memorial have been celebrating and proclaiming the presence of God in the Newberry community.  What  began as a small village Lutheran church continues to be a vital ministry serving the community, as well as supporting missions throughout the world.  Summer Memorial has a history of resiliency.  The congregation has survived the closing of major industries in the community, a tornado of 1984, and the exit relocation of families to be within proximity of their workplace.  But, through the grace of God and thie gift of the Holy Spirit, the congregation has been blessed beyond measure.

While Summer Memorial has an exciting past for over 100 years, we trust that God will continue to be our hope and inspiration for the future.  To God Be the Glory!

Our rich history reaches back to a Sunday on July 24, 1910 when a Lutheran congregation was organized in the Mollohon Mill Village in Newberry, SC, with 26 charter members. The Service was held in the community Union Building, where other denominations also worshipped. Services were conducted regularly twice each month by the Rev. Jefferson D. Shealy, pastor of Mayer Memorial, Newberry.

Although worship was conducted in a secular facility, there was encouraging growth in membership.  By October of that year the congregation had increased to 40 confirmed members with a total baptized membership of 54. A house of worship was the great need.

 A church for this group of Lutherans was constructed by Messrs. Charles E. Summer, John H. Summer, and George W. Summer as a memorial to their father and mother, George W. and Martha D. Summer.  The land was donated by the Mollohon Manufacturing Company, a textile mill owned by the Summer family.

Pictured are the first church built in 1911 and later remodeled in 1939.  This church was demolished in 1952 and the present church was erected.  In 1980 additional capacity was added to include a fellowship hall with offices and classrooms.

                                                                                                                    Now a self-supporting congregation, Summer Memorial was in a parish with Mayer Memorial, Newberry, 1910-29; with Silverstreet, Silverstreet, and Corinth, Saluda, 1930-37; and with Bethany, Newberry, 1937-55.

From the original structure in 1911, and remodeling of this building in 1939, to demolishing the original structure and erecting a new building in 1952, Summer Memorial has systemically made improvements or additions to its worship and educational facilities.  A major addition was completed in 1980 that included a fellowship hall with offices and classrooms.  Four houses and lots adjoining the church property were purchased to ensure room for growth, and handicapped access was provided by installing an elevator-type lift accessible to the Narthex.

The congregation focuses on serving the needs of its growing elderly membership as well as growing membership of young adults and children.  Social Ministry is one of the strong points of this congregation.  In 2002 Summer Memorial  sponsored two members of the congregation to serve one year teaching in Tanzania and subsequently sponsored a Tanzanian student to attend college in the United States.  The congregation reaches out to the needs of "the least of the brothers and sisters in Christ.” within the community and globally.