History

Eastminster Presbyterian Church was born on February 1, 1948, the first new Presbyterian church in Columbia in 25 years. The eastern side of the city was experiencing post-WWII-growth as military men came home to marry, settle down and start their civilian careers. First services were held in the chapel of the Carolina Children's Home on Trenholm Road, under the leadership of the Rev. Harry F. Petersen Jr., and in a few months' time the property across the street known as "the Davis property" was purchased. Harry Davis, owner, donated one lot valued at $1,500, and the church agreed to the sum of $13,900. By 1951, the congregation of 750 voted to acquire the four additional lots comprising that block of Trenholm Road

The Rev. Thomas Robert Fulton was called as Eastminster's first full-time minister. When he assumed his position in November, 1948, he found himself facing the new church's first disaster. Construction had begun to put into place a temporary building obtained from Fort Jackson; on October 27, 1948 the still-unfinished structure was destroyed by fire. Undaunted, the fledgling congregation voted to begin work immediately on a permanent structure, and by April of 1949, a small-ish building which came to be known as The Brown Building stood at the rear of the property. It served as sanctuary for worship services, fellowship hall for informal gatherings, administrative offices and Sunday school classrooms.

By 1956, the church was worshipping in the large Williamsburg-style sanctuary centered on the property, and The Rev. Lynn Temple Jones was the new senior pastor.

Since that time, the block has been filled with other buildings which now include Thompson Hall, an administrative building, a classroom building which houses the Eastminster Day School, and the Christian Life Center which provides recreation and sports space to the community

Today, with a congregation numbering over 2,000 members, Eastminster hosts activities in education, community service, foreign and local missions, and above all, dedication to  worship and devotion to Jesus Christ. An emphasis on children and youth has been foremost at this church from the beginning. Several dozen of its members have gone on to become ministers of the Gospel.  Eastminster faces the 21st century as it did the previous one, with courage and faith in its calling to serve Jesus Christ and spread His message.

 

Senior pastors at Eastminster Presbyterian Church:

 

T. Robert Fulton Jr.                           1948 - 1956

Lynn Temple Jones                           1956 - 1964

William Bethea Ward                         1965 - 1972

Paul Thornton Eckel                          1973 - 1976

Ernest Trice Thompson Jr.                1977 - 1986

Joe Bryan Donaho                             1988 - 2000

Robert B. Heppenstall Jr.                   2002 - 2007

Bradley D. Smith                                2009 - present