About Our Parish
In October, 1966, shortly after the close of the Second Vatican Council, an article in the local papers announced a new parish for the growing area west of Charleston. Under Bishop Unterkoefler’s leadership, the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle was started from portions of the existing parishes of St. John and Divine Redeemer. The boundary lines form a twelve mile strip between the Ashley River and I26, from the Dorchester Road/I526 interchange to the town of Ladson.
Our first pastor, Rev. Ronald Anderson, came from Beaufort to minister to this new parish. The beginnings were humble – Sunday masses were held in the Exchange Club Fairground building on Dorchester Road, which was not heated. Services were moved a few weeks later to a new, heated fairground building. Weekday masses were held in parishioners’ homes, which created a strong community in the new parish.
A parish Advisory and Planning Board was formed to develop plans for building on the Dorchester Road tract, which had been purchased by the Diocese several years earlier. The church was designed as to be a multi-use facility with a chapel and large assembly room. Two large classrooms, office space, a small kitchen and ante room were part of the original structure. A rectory was also built. The congregation moved to their new facility in November, 1968.
Our parish community continued to grow, and various ministries were formed, including religious education and young adult formation. As the surrounding area continued to develop and diversify, the parish became a thriving multi-cultural spiritual community.
Under the leadership of Father Landwermyer, the church underwent a major renovation in the early 1980’s. The church entry was moved from a center entry facing Dorchester Road (where the large cross is now) to the side entry. The worship space was transformed with a raised altar, stained glass windows, and pews.
In the late 1980’s, a trailer was acquired to provide classrooms for the growing religious education needs. And in the 1990’s, during Monsignor Lofton’s tenure, the parish hall was built to support community activities and religious education. The Knights of Columbus remodeled the trailer, which is now used as their meeting facility. The rectory was also moved from a site near Dorchester Road to its current location.
With the first years of the new century, our parish community continued to evolve. During Father Leonard’s tenure, the Hispanic community organized and developed ministries, and this community has become the fastest growing part of our parish.
A major renovation of the church sanctuary was completed in 2014, with the support of a generous gift to the parish and the hard work of many parishioners. New flooring, lighting and sound systems were installed. Under Father Marreddy’s leadership, the parish debt was retired.
St. Thomas the Apostle Parish celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary with a gala event in November, 2016, and continues to thrive as we work to support our Catholic spiritual life in the twenty-first century.