MEET OUR STAFF
Our dedicated staff are passionate about Christ & His Work.
Rev. Mike Bruce
Mike's journey of life and faith began in the little town of Bennettsville, South Carolina. His early faith formation occurred in a loving, Christian home and also within the faithful, loving embrace of his home church, First United Methodist Church.
Rev. Karen Jones
Associate Minister Rev. Karen Jones is a life-long Methodist and was ordained in 2011. She earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina and Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Margaret Downs, our Director of Music Ministries, is a native of Charleston. She graduated from Middleton High School in 1986 and then pursued a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Director of Youth Ministries David Boudolf grew up in John Wesley UMC. After graduating from Clemson University, David relocated to Atlanta as the Director of Activities Ministry.
Nursery Supervisor Magdalene Maclin, a Charleston native, attended Claflin College in Orangeburg, SC earning a degree in Social Science.
In 1944, when war was raging in Europe and the Pacific, suburban growth in rural St. Andrews Parish was just beginning.
The story of John Wesley Methodist Church begins at this time. Most West Ashley residents attended downtown churches. Rev. R. Wright Spears served communication at the home of Mrs. Sophie Smith, an invalid member of his church, Trinity Methodist. She urged him to start a nearby Methodist church. Rev. Homer Schuler, DS, hired Margaret Dukes to determine if others were interested in starting a local church.
On June 8, 1944, 34 people attended worship service at the Saint Andrews Exchange Club. Rev. R. Bryce Herbert of Asbury Methodist officiated. Sunday School was held under the trees, and adult classes met in nearby homes.
By October 1944, the church was chartered with 128 members. The name John Wesley was chosen , and Rev. Edward Gott was appointed as the first minister. As membership grew, plans were made for a permanent home. It was decided to build a Sunday School building was completed in 1946 with a parsonage next door. The sanctuary was completed in 1951. The windows and all of the furnishings from pews to offering plates were donated by members.
Within a few years more classroom space was needed. The parsonage was removed and a larger one purchased on Confederate Circle. Construction on the west wing was completed in 1958. This building provided more classrooms and a large fellowship hall and kitchen.
The 60's and 70's were decades of continued growth. Membership increased, programs expanded, and buildings and grounds improved. In 1971 a pipe organ was installed in the sanctuary. In October 1978, with the help of Mrs. J. T. Stieglitz, the Aldersgate Chapel was presented to the church debt free. Everything in the chapel was donated by members.
The 80's were characterized by further expansion - renovation of the sanctuary, the west building and the replacement of the first building. Completed in 1990, it houses the leisure ministries room, a kitchen, a parlor, the chapel, classrooms, and the church offices.
In subsequent years, John Wesley continued to expand church-wide programs and missions. The youth participated in the Salkehatchie project and began the "pumpkin ministry". John Wesley's first Habitat House was completed in 1993.
In 2000, Wednesday Night Out began as a mid-week family gathering. Major renovations of the sanctuary and grounds were completed in 2006. Today we remember our past and all those who helped begin John Wesley. We also look to the future. With God's help, those who are here today and generations to come will continue the ministry begun during World War II just west of the Ashley.