HISTORY OF WEST ASHLEY INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH
In 1979 Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina sent Tom and Marilyn Sims to Charleston to plant a mission church. Mount Calvary would serve as the mother church and provided a partial measure of financial support. The first service was held in August of that same year with about 20 persons in attendance. From the outset, three couples joined the Sims in this effort. A full set of weekly services commenced immediately as the group met in the building owned and used by the Charleston chapter of the U.S. Power Squadron at 1376 Orange Grove Road. Early in 1981, the mission church was incorporated by the State of South Carolina and became a fully self governing and self supporting church with 22 charter members. At this time the assembly was contributing support to missionaries and was making efforts to evangelize the surrounding community.
After a long search which included some big disappointments, the church was able to purchase two acres of property at 2631 Ashley River Road in the beautiful Springfield area. Work on the property began in 1995 with construction of the building commencing in August. The church family aided by sister churches and friends took on most of the construction work. The building was finished and the first service held the last Sunday of 1995. About two years later the church built an addition to create more nursery and classroom space. In the years that followed, a picnic shelter was built as well as an equipment out building. The volunteer labor of the church family accomplished these projects for the most part.
The move to our own property opened an opportunity of ministry in a new area of West Ashley. The church immediately began to reach out with the gospel to the surrounding neighborhoods. Thousands of homes have been visited with the intention of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. The ministries of the church have also included regular services at local assisted living facilities, weekly ministry at the Charleston County Detention Center, vacation Bible school, Bible conferences, evangelistic meetings, a ladies missionary prayer group, and a wide variety of fellowship activities and meetings. The church has been led by a board of elders which includes Pastor Tom Sims.
In 2008 the church began work on an auditorium addtion to the building. This long anticipated project brought excitement to the church family and they gave generously donating many hours of labor to the construction. Once the new worship space was completed, the existing portion of the building was completely recarpeted and painted. The exterior was resided giving the entire structure the appearance of a completely new building.
West Ashley Independent Baptist Church has been meeting for more than 30 years. The founding pastor is still serving and the church has retained seven of the charter members. We thank God for keeping us this far and trust that He will continue to provide and enable us to serve Him acceptably.