Lewis Chapel Church is located seven miles east of Sumter on the old Plowden Mill Road.  This church has served it's community up to present date (2011) for one hundred and sixty years.


During the summer of 1851, a group of men, women and children assembled under the shade of some oak trees for the purpose of making some plans, whereby they might worship and glorify their God.  Their wishes were made known to the Presiding Elder, Samuel Wragg Capers of the Columbia District of South Carolina Conference, and the Reverend Nicholas Talley and the Reverend John Wesley North were appointed to preach to this group for the remainder of the year.  After some discussion on the subject providing a house of worship, it was unanimously agreed by the group to build one as soon as possible.  Robert Tisdale and I.R. Brunson were elected the first trustees, and bought two acres of land from AndrewJ. Moses for the sum of two dollars for the said plot.  This transaction was made August 2, 1851, in the Book O, pages 177-178.  The deed was written by G.W. Black and E.H. Jones and contained a Trust Clause.  The plot at present assumes a rectangular shape, due to changes in the public road and a canal ditch. 

After having secured the land to build a house of worship, the consecrated and God-loving people began to formulate plans and gather material for the building.  Until then, this group continued to meet under the Oak Tree for worship. 

Robert Tisdale, a carpenter of his day, was made overseer of this building and with the help of other men, work was soon begun.  Records state that all work on the building was done by this group without any recompense. 

During the South Carolina Annual Conference in session at Georgetown, S.C., December 10, 1851, this newly organized congregation was welcomed into the Sumter Circuit under the name of "Shelter."  This name was chosen because a few boards had been secured to assist the Oak Tree in protecting the congregation from the sun and rain until the church was finished.  Bishop J.O. Andrews presided at the conference in Georgetown and the Reverend Allen McCorquodale was appointed pastor for this group, with William W. Mood as assistant pastor.  The Reverend Samuel Wragg Capers continued as Presiding Elder. These men of God were assisted by a local preacher by the name of William Lewis, who gave every assistance possible to the new family of God as they built their house of worship.  He is credited with doing a great deal of the hard labor on the church.

The building was completed during the early part of May, 1852, and was dedicated to God, May 28, 1852 by the pastor, the Reverend McCorquodale, using as a text the following scripture:  "Lord, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honor dwelleth." Psalm 26:8.  On this occasion the name was changed from Shelter to Lewis Chapel in honor of the faithful service and keen interest shown by the Reverend William Lewis. 



Our Church before Hurricane Hugo 1989

On September, 22, Hurricane Hugo roared through South Carolina and Sumter was struck extremely hard.  The sanctuary of Lewis Chapel fell victim to this indescribable tragedy.  The congregation was disappointed but hopeful that God would guide us through this horrible experience.  They chose seven members to guide us through the planning and building program.  The Building Committee, Graham Tisdale, Chairman, Carson Prescott, Grace Prescott, Nancy Boykin, Christine Johnson, Clarence Huggins, and Wade Warr tirelessly pursued the vision of providing the best facility possible for this generation and those yet to come.  May His Name be praised in every generation allowed to worship in this lovely sanctuary.