At a brief ceremony on November 30 at Old St. Andrew’s Church, Charleston, Bishop Chip Edgar presented the Rev. Jimmy Gallant and representatives of his congregation with the deed to St. Andrew’s Mission Church. “This is a mighty blessing,” said Gallant, who has served as Vicar of the church since 2013. This was the first time the congregation has held clear title to their property.
“We celebrate the relationship between St Andrew’s Mission and Old St. Andrew’s tonight upon this historic occasion,” said Bishop Edgar, during the ceremony. “On this day, a Quitclaim Deed has been recorded in Charleston County whereby St. Andrew’s Mission, as of today, St. Andrew’s Day, owns their own property outright. We gather here at Old St. Andrew’s to celebrate this occasion, acknowledging the history and the relationship between these two congregations and asking God for His continued blessing upon that relationship and upon the continuing ministry of St. Andrew’s Mission Church.”
Prior to the litigation with the Episcopal Church the deed to St. Andrew’s Mission, along with those of two other mission congregations (St. John’s Chapel, Charleston and St. Alban’s, Blackville) were held by either the diocese or the trustees of the diocese. Although the court effectively awarded these properties to the Episcopal Church in its April 2022 decision, the Episcopal Church agreed in the final settlement to relinquish their right to the properties and turn the deeds over to the individual congregations.
“When we went through all this with the courts,” said Gallant, “our people had no idea they didn’t have the deed to the property. So, what’s happening tonight is monumental. There’s so much history and family there. We’re grateful.”
The Rev. Marshall Huey, Rector of Old St. Andrew’s said, “I want to express my gratitude to our legal counsel, particularly Foster Gaillard, Ben Hagood, Alan Runyan and Andrew Platte and to our parish chancellor Andy Lacour. I also want to express my gratitude to Bishop Ruth Woodliff-Stanley for her graciousness in this matter. We at Old St. Andrew’s look forward to continuing our historic and wonderful relationship with St. Andrew’s Mission.”
Bishop Edgar had invited Bishop Ruth Woodliff-Stanley to the ceremony and dinner, but she was out of town and unable to attend.
Bishop Edgar began the service by praying, “Through the ages, Almighty God has moved His people to build houses of prayer, study and praise, and to set apart places for the ministry of His Holy Word and Sacraments. With gratitude we acknowledge and praise His Holy Name for the ministry, through the past two centuries, of St. Andrew’s Mission Church. We thank God for the generations of faithful servants who have worshipped and served the Lord in that holy place.”
At the conclusion of the service Father Marshall and Father Jimmy led the congregation in the Collect for St. Andrew’s Day, an appropriate ending to the event, “Almighty God, you gave such grace to your apostle Andrew, that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him, Give us, who are called by your Holy Word, grace to follow Him without delay, and bring those near to us into His gracious presence, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”
By Joy Hunter, Director of Communications