Brief History of

St. Peter Lutheran Church

Chapin, South Carolina

St. Peter (Piney Woods) Lutheran Church will. celebrate its bicentennial in 1994. The actual movement for a church in the Piney Woods community began in 1793. Peter Schumpert, Ulrich Mayer, Thomas Frick and others were walking home from St. John's Church, Pomaria and began to discuss the organization of a church nearer their homes.

Peter Schumpert started searching for a piece of land. He and Ulrich Mayer discovered and surveyed the parcel which the present church now occupies. The survey was made immediately for a title and a grant was obtained on  May 5, 1794. A church edifice was built during the summer. The congregation was organized and incorporated by an act of the Legislature December 17, 1794. Rev. Joseph Wallern organized the church and served as its first pastor until 1809.

St. Peter's was given its name in honor of Peter Schumpert who first proposed a church in his community and took the initiative in all endeavors. His efforts helped obtain the land and see that a church was built. He worked diligently and in all old records his name appears first.

The first church stood where the present cemetery now exists. It was built of logs. The timbers were cut on the church laud. The dimensions were said to have been 25 feet by 35 feet. The pews were split logs with peg legs. The first church served the congregation for forty years.

The second church, 35 by 45 feet was built of sawed lumber in 1854. It was a two story structure. The building had three doors, one on each side and one at the west end. The men entered from the right of the goblet shaped pulpit, and the women from the left. Each gender sat on its side of the church. Slaves entered from the ends and were seated In the gallery.

This church had several renovations and an enlargement. On June 1, 1924 the congregation began investigating new building operations. On July 2, 1925 a contract was given to Mr. J. E. Cannon and Mr. D. A. Cannon, contractors, for $7.475. Much work, and timber was donated. The ground breaking was on July 16th and the first brick laid on August 3rd. The corner stone was placed at a service on August 23rd, with construction completed and opening services held on August 15, 1926. The cost is estimated at $40,000.


1. Rev. Frederick Joseph Wallern (1794-1899)

2. Rev. Harman Winkhouseb (1809-1918)

3. Rev. Michael Rauch (1819-1833)

4. Rev, Godfrey Dreher (1833-1852)

5. Rev. Daniel Efird (1853-1882)

6. Rev. Jacob Killian Efird (1883-1893)

7. Rev. J. G. Schaid (1893-1895)

8. Rev. A. R. Beck (1895-1902)

   Rev. E. L. Lybrand served at intervals during vacancies

9. Rev. Benjamin David Wessinger (1903-1904)

10. Rev. Enoch J. Sox (1905-1915)

11. Rev. Martin Luther Pence (1915-1918)

.12. Rev. Brady L. Stroup (1919-1921)

13. Rev. Wilbur H. Riser (1921-1923)

14. Rev. David L. Miller (1924-1934)

15. Rev. Samuel J. Wessinger (1934-1940)

16. Rev. H. G. C. Park (1941-1947)

17. Rev. John I). Zeigler (1949-1982)

18. Rev. Boyd Cook (1982-1987)

19. Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson, Jr. (1988-????)

Submitted by: Jennie Frick Cannon - Member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Chopin, SC

(Published in the Dutch Fork Digest Newsletter, Vol. VII, No. 2, Apr-May-Jun 1992)

Posted 8 October 2004