A complete history of the church has been compiled in loose-leaf binders housed in the Boyd Library in the Admin/Education Building.
1968 In January of 1968, three ministers surveyed the island population regarding the interest in building a Methodist church. The response was overwhelming: “Establish a Church!” By June, Rev. Milton McGuirt, his wife Betty and two children arrived. The church met in Planters Hall of the former William Hilton Inn. The naming of the church took place at First Baptist church. The name was selected for its location near the sea and for the Apostle Andrew, a fisherman who always brought someone to meet Jesus.
1969 The congregation gathered at the site for the proposed church on land donated on Pope Avenue by Charles Fraser of the Sea Pines Company with the condition that a church worth at least $50,000 be built within three years.
1971 The church building was begun after much fund-raising including shrimp dinners, oyster roasts, even plane rides. It was slated for completion that same year. Groundbreaking ceremony was held March 7, 1971. It was completed in October and the first service was on October 24.
1973 The United Methodist Women was organized in November and established in January ‘74
1976 Dr. John Wood Robison became the second minister: The Carolinda Robison Sunday School Class was named in honor of his wife.
Island artist Wayne Edwards was retained to design a stained glass cross for the sanctuary as well as a communion table and other chancel appointments. The first VBS was held in the summer and the first pictorial directory was published.
The Rev. M. Cooper Stonestreet becomes the third minister and the first Fall Festival was held.
1980 Groundbreaking ceremony for new education building was held May 4.
1981 Two octaves of handbells donated to create first handbell choir
1983 The Outstanding Church Woman of the Year award was established by the UMW.
1984 St. Andrew celebrates the Bicentennial of the Methodist church & creates a quilt under the direction of member Peggy Eaton.
The Rev. Harold P. Lewis becomes the fourth minister. A parsonage is built at 16 Crooked Pond Drive in Hilton Head Plantation. “Islanders Cook for Company” cookbook published by the UMW.
1986 A charge conference was held to select a building committee that would make recommendations for a new sanctuary, modify the existing sanctuary into a fellowship hall, change the administrative offices and Sunday School areas.
1987 Groundbreaking for new sanctuary was held July 19. Approximately $934,000 pledged for capital campaign.
1988 June 12 – Consecration Day for the new sanctuary. A charge conference was held regarding a proposal to purchase 1.6 acres including a 3000 sq. ft. building adjacent to our parking lot. The old sanctuary becomes the Fellowship Hall. The Rev. Michael Baughman becomes the Associate Pastor.
1991 Library reactivated by Dot Boyd, Chairperson. (Library later renamed the Boyd Library.)
The Rev. Douglas A. Bowling appointed as fifth minister.
1993 25th Anniversary celebrated
1994 A Stephen Ministry program is begun with 11 Stephen Ministers & leaders commissioned. The stained glass cross is moved to the current Sanctuary. The St. Andrew By-The-Sea Endowment is chartered in August.
1995 Needlepoint Altar Cushions dedicated in June after 7000 hours of work by 25 women.
1996 St. Andrew By-The-Sea Counseling Center is created. The center’s mission is provide to counseling, support and educational opportunities in the caring environment of a Christian church. St. Andrew adopts a new church “logo.”
1997 Second UMW cookbook published called Islanders Cook for Company Again. Ruehling Prayer Garden dedicated in July.
1998 English as a Second Language classes are begun to assist the island’s new Hispanic population.
1999 A Parish Nurse program is initiated as the congregation focuses on mind & body.
St. Andrew purchases land at Cherry Point in conjunction with the SC Annual Conference for the new Church of the Palms in Okatie. St. Andrew sponsors the first Community Thanksgiving meal at Hudson’s restaurant. Our church buildings are used by four different congregations.
2000 Dr. E. David Du Bois named as a part-time Associate Pastor. A building committee is approved at a special charge conference for the purpose of acting on recommendations of a long-range planning committee to expand our educational, administrative and fellowship facilities. They UMYF receives a first-place award at YAC for raising the most money for the Youth Service Fund with their Flamingo infestation. New Chrismon Tree adorned Sanctuary. St. Andrew earned the Bishop’s 5-Star Award for Excellence in Evangelism Ministry.
2001 The Rev. Willie S. Teague appointed as sixth minister. The congregation approved construction of the Celebration Center, not to exceed 2.4 million dollars. A youth mission team sail to Andros Island in the Bahamas for our first International Mission trip. Upward Basketball begins with David Boudolf as the first leader.
2002 Ground breaking ceremony for the Celebration Center was held February 10, 2002. On October 25, 2002, a stained glass window designed by Lou Ellen Beckman of Greenville was installed in Christ Chapel, and other appointments are added including banners, paintings, and pottery. A Prayer Quilt Ministry was introduced. The Teagues participated in a Pastor Exchange by going to England and we host The Mann family.
2003 Three new octaves of handbells were dedicated on February 15. A Consecration Service and brunch with 500 in attendance were held on March 23, 2003, for the Celebration Center. On June 28, St. Andrew dedicated its first Habitat House at 4 Quinn Court in Bluffton. The church offers Upward sports programs to our congregation and community.
2004 The Rev. A. Clark Jenkins appointed pastor in June following the Rev. Willie Teague who was appointed the Director of Connectional Ministries of the Annual Conference.
2005 The church enacted a lease of the former Youth Center allowing it to birth The Sandbox: an Interactive Children’s Museum. Stained glass windows, in memory of the Boyds, are installed in the library. Adult Mission team goes to Billy White Belize and another responds to hurricane Katrina on the Gulf coast. The Rev. Jimmie A. Morrison hired as Associate Pastor in December.
2006 A UMW member is named to a national Women’s Division mission team to Zimbabwe. Relational Ministries and lay visitor teams are organized.
2007 Estill Middle School is adopted in response to the Bishop’s call to be part of the solution in the “Corridor of Shame.” The Rev. Neil M. Yongue Jr., is appointed in June as 8th pastor of St. Andrew.
2008 On June 29, the congregation celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the church with a single service at 10am and a brunch for 360 people in the Celebration Center. The founding pastor, Milton McGuirt, preached and the Bowlings, Teagues, Carolinda Robison and DuBois families travel to be with us.
2012 On May 27, 2012, 500+ pipes, a Zimbelstern and 4 wind chests which were added to our digital organ that month were dedicated in memory Patricia Graves, mother of our organist Debby Graves. The pipes were purchased from a California dealer and trucked across the country.
2014 After several years of planning by our congregation and the SC Annual Conference, and following the appointment of The Rev. Daniel Burbage to St. Andrew By-The-Sea in June of 2012, St. Andrew launched a multi-site campus, with the first weekly meeting held at the University of South Carolina’s Bluffton location on February 9, 2014. Preview services leading up to the launch included “Christmas Eve under the Stars” in 2012 and 2013. St. Andrew is the first church in the conference to launch a multi-site extension. In June, the church purchased 10.01 acres on Buckwalter Parkway for a future campus. In addition, the Pope Avenue Sanctuary Chancel was remodeled during the summer as the former choir loft had been outgrown with our outstanding music for worship.
2016 A vacated bar at 39 Persimmon Street #203 is transformed into the new Bluffton Worship and Ministry Center to serve the “Bluffton Campus” until we can build on our land at Buckwalter. Rev Daniel Burbage commissions Charlie Hannah to make a cross from one of the bars that is removed. Grand Opening Sunday is Feb. 28.
2019 – 2020 The Bluffton Campus begins live streams in August of 2019. In March 2020, streaming begins at the Hilton Head Campus just a week before worship goes to online only amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
2022 The Bluffton Campus congregation separates from St. Andrew and the Methodist Conference. Rev. Burbage remains as pastor to the new independent church now called The New Bluffton Worship.
1968-1976 Rev. Milton McGuirt
1976-1979 Rev. Dr. John Wood Robison
1979-1985 Rev. M. Cooper Stonestreet
1985-1992 Rev. Harold P. Lewis
1992-2001 Rev. Dr. Douglas A. Bowling
2001-2004 Rev. Willie S. Teague
2004-2007 Rev. A. Clark Jenkins
2007-2021 Rev. Neil M. Yongue Jr.
2021-2022 Rev. Dr. Robin Dease (Elected Bishop of the North Georgia Conference 2022)
1988-1991 Rev. Michael Baughman
2000-2005 Rev. Dr. E. David DuBois
2005-2018 Rev. Jimmie A. Morrison
2012-2022 Rev. Daniel S. Burbage
2019- Rev. Frank Lybrand (interim pastor in 2023)
Rev. Dr. Julius S. Scott Jr. by action of the Charge Conference in 2018
Diaconal: 1992-1994: Sue M. Parnell