Charleston First Assembly
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Relevant, Relational, and Real
First Assembly of God was founded by Rev. Isaac and Iva Burgess. Both were ordained evangelists in the Methodist Denomination. Rev. Burgess was converted to the full gospel denomination and was ordained by the South Carolina District of the Assemblies of God. They founded and were pastors of the First Assembly of God in Georgetown. They moved to Charleston and began cottage prayer services and subsequently founded the First Assembly of God in Charleston in 1943. They leased a building on Spring Street in Charleston, S. C., from the Star Gospel Mission to start the church.
Other pastors of First Assembly of God included (from left to right across):
*This list does not include pastors who served intern terms of less than one year.
The first property purchased by the church was located at the corner of King and San Souci Streets in the northwest section of Charleston, SC, with a $1,000 donation from Mrs. (Granny) Corlander. Rev. Frank Cottingham became the pastor in 1947. He was the first preacher on local TV station-Channel 2 and acquired a loan to complete the building of the church at San Souci Street. Rev. Aiken Bishop completed the building project.
The church on San Souci Street was sold to the Seven Day Adventist and First Assembly moved to the Mulberry location in a West Ashley subdivision. Under the leadership of Rev. Charles Hughes, the property at 2957 Savannah Highway was purchased and the church became financially viable.
Under Pastor Gary Wilson, the building program of the current church campus was completed and the membership grew. It was also under his leadership that Evangel Christian School began. The school included a daycare and went to the 12th grade, until it closed in 2003.
Dr. Ted Satterfield was instrumental in reviving Sunday School as a ministry; increasing the number of souls saved and being baptized in the Holy Spirit; completed the affiliation with the Assemblies of God; incorporated the church as a religious organization in the State of South Carolina in 1990; and paid off the mortgage in August 1998, several years before the final mortgage was due.
Under Pastor Eric Olsen, the church acquired property in the neighborhood which provided income for debt reduction. This same property, under God’s guidance and the stewardship of our Deacons Board, was later sold and the income to our church made it possible to recoup all cost of the original purchase and pay for major renovations to our buildings.
“Our blessings from God!”
Our current pastor, Rev. Charles L. Taylor came to Charleston First Assembly in 2002. He is a dynamic preacher and visionary man of God. He has brought many benefits to our church, which enhance our efforts to win the lost for Christ.
Under his leadership, church outreach has grown; major renovations have been completed; a new parsonage was built; and new ministries have evolved.
God has given him a vision that he promotes through expository sermons and strategic planning. This vision keeps us focused on strong outreach and ministries to promote spiritual growth and increased discipleship. His expository sermons provide practical application for living in these challenging times, which has brought many new souls to Christ.