A History of the Church of the Good Shepherd
Columbia, South Carolina
Written by Agnes Lee Clawson
- Chapter One: In The Beginning
- Chapter Two: Alexander Robert Mitchell
- Chapter Three: The Church on Blanding Street
- Chapter Four: Two Rectors Destined To Be Bishop
- Chapter Five: The Diocese Splits
- Chapter Six: Lewis Nathaniel Taylor
- Chapter Seven: The Intervening Years
- Chapter Eight: The Expanding Years
- Chapter Nine: The Schism
- Chapter Ten: William Harrison Rose
To Charlotte Marshall, Tom Legge and Sarah Linder I am grateful for their able assistance in researching old records and pictures.
I would also like to thank Pam Steude for her photographic assistance.
Then, I am indebted to Mary Taylor Clarkson for the use of the journals her father, the Rev. Lewis N. Taylor, seventh rector, kept throughout his ministry.
Last but most important I wish to acknowledge the contribution of Bea Rose who edited the manuscript and without whose untiring efforts the book could not have reached its present form.
To my three sons,
- William Thomas Clawson, III
- States Lee Clawson
- Robert Carl Clawson
who are carrying through the generations their spiritual heritage which was born and nurtured through the Church of the Good Shepherd.
By the Rt. Rev. William A. Beckham +
Bishop of The Diocese of Upper South Carolina, 1979 – 1994
It is a joy to commend to your reading this excellent history of the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Agnes Clawson has captured the zeal and commitment which led to the founding of this congregation and led them to seek God’s grace in those early years. Similarly, she makes us aware of the same measure of grace which has seen the Church of the Good Shepherd through times of prosperity and adversity.
Without rancor, Agnes shares with us the troubled times leading up to and resulting in schism. Above all, we share in the great joy of rebirth and a renewed commitment to the Gospel and our role as heirs in the Kingdom. Please read this book carefully as it is the story of God working in and through a people who have been called to be the Body of Christ.
We and the world are the richer because they have heard and answered that call.
By Fr. William Harrison Rose +
Rector of The Church of the Good Shepherd, 1978 – 1990
When the vestry made the decision that we mark the one hundredth anniversary of the Church of the Good Shepherd with a gala celebration in the fall of 1983, Agnes Lee Clawson, who had written an abbreviated history now used as a handout leaflet and a part of the South Caroliniana Library, said with her usual enthusiasm, “This time I’ll write a book!”
Agnes Lee moved from her native Charleston to Columbia when she was a child; the Lees were dedicated members of Good Shepherd. When she was grown and married, she, her husband Bill, and their three boys kept the church as the center of their family life. Bill served on the vestry and as senior warden and junior warden several terms. The boys, grown and married now, serve or have served on the vestry; their wives involved as active members of the congregation. The expanded family unit carries on the tradition, which rooted elsewhere, flourished at Good Shepherd.
This background allows readers to realize the commitment brought to the task by Agnes. When so many of her friends left during the schism of 1977, she never wavered in her knowledge that she was, always had been, and always would be an Episcopalian. She exhibits the faith which undergirds the very foundation of the spiritual life at Good Shepherd.
Her flair for detail and description is both interesting and charming; she draws word pictures that allow us to meet and become acquainted with those who came before us to labor in this part of God’s vineyard. She tells us of their talents, dreams, hopes, frustrations, struggles, peaks and valleys. As a teacher of many years, Agnes uses these pages to teach us about love and caring as encompassed within the hallowed walls of our church building.
It was an awesome undertaking to become the shepherd of this flock; I found a strength of faith that a clergyman can only dare hope he will ever find in a congregation.
It would have been easy and understandable for those who were left to have quietly gone to other Episcopal Churches in Columbia, where they could have healed their wounds and still been involved in the church. They chose to stay — first, because Good Shepherd enjoys its High Church Liturgy, but more importantly because this is a giving congregation. We are firmly committed to help others, whatever the circumstance. We have a strong lay ministry, active in every area of the Church. We now have an assistant rector, the Rev. Fielder Israel, Jr. and the Rev. W. D. Razz Waft, a deacon-in-training and chaplain to institutions, is with us this centennial year.
Crucial to all we do is the positive reinforcement given us by the Rt. Rev. William Arthur Beckham and his staff. Without his support, the road would not be as straight, would not be as well traveled.
Those who read this chronicle will traverse the century to find a church that is in some ways indistinguishable from any other downtown parish and yet unique in the magnificent souls whose lives helped form its history. Much of the old survives and yet Good Shepherd has kept pace with current times. There are none here now who can recall the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, but we all share in this heritage of the past.
We pray that the next one hundred years will be as glorious in faith as the first one hundred. We thank God for being able to be even a small part of this celebration.
Copyright Notice © 1983 Agnes Lee Clawson
This work originally printed by Laurel Printing Company Columbia, South Carolina
Montgomery, John A., Columbia South Carolina History of a City. Windsor Publications, Inc. Woodland Hills, California, 1979.
Stoops, Barbara, The State. Articles October, 1977.
Thomas, Albert Sidney, A Historical Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina 1820-1957. The R. L. Bryan Company, Columbia, South Carolina, 1957.
Thomas, Charles E., The Right Reverend Albert Sidney Thomas. A Press, Greenville, South Carolina, 1977