History of Union

Union United Methodist Church had its beginnings in 1857.

Union United Methodist Church had its beginnings in 1857 in a one-room log building built on land at the corner of the current Wescot and Nursery Hill Roads. There were few if any roads and no bridges over the nearby Broad and Saluda Rivers. Yet, in their quest to worship God together, people walked, rode on horseback or traveled by wagon to this little log building called Kennerly Chapel on the Lexington Circuit (Methodist).

In 1869 Preston C. Lorick donated a three-acre tract of land on which to build a church “for divine services forever.” The deed was recorded “for a fee of $10 and brotherly love.” A one-room frame structure was erected, and Kennerly Chapel became Union Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church South, Lexington Circuit. This tract of land remains part of Union’s present site. No record has been found as to how long this little brown church (so named because the unpainted boards turned dark) remained. It was torn down and a small white-painted church with clear glass gothic windows was built on the same spot. This spot is the site of Union’s present chapel. Above the front entry was a bell tower which is in our present chapel’s steeple.

As Union Chapel and other area congregations grew, the Lexington Fork Circuit was formed in 1876 and then became the Irmo Charge in 1915. Union, Salem and Shady Grove were a three-point charge in 1924 and are still active members of the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. After being part of a circuit for more than a century, Union Chapel became a station church, Union Methodist Church, in 1962 with a membership of 188. In 1968, as a result of the merger between the Methodists and Evangelical United Brethren denominations, the name of Union changed one last time to Union United Methodist Church.

The Irmo area turned rapidly into neighborhoods, expanding school districts and industrial parks, and Union’s membership almost quadrupled in less than ten years – to 735 in 1971. Union began to build new and additional facilities and groups and ministries! Now, we have over 2000 members and more ministries and missions than we can count. What a legacy! What a future!