Saint Christopher Episcopal church located in the West Side of Charleston, West Virginia was founded in December 2007. Four smaller episcopal churches in the Metro area were asked to merge under the direction of Bishop Klausmeyer, Seventh (Vll) Bishop of West Virginia. These four churches: All Saints in South Charleston; Church of The Good Shepherd in Kanawha City; St. James, a historically African American Parish, located in North Charleston; and Saint Luke’s located in the West Side of Charleston merged and became St. Christopher.
Prior to the merger, the churches rotated Sunday services for about two years moving from one location to another on a monthly rotation in the different buildings. The different congregations had the opportunity to showcase their buildings and their preferred type of worship. The Senior and Junior wardens and the treasurers of each congregation worked as a committee to help facilitate the merger.
During this time the members became acquainted with one another. Once it was decided that a merger would take place a vote was taken to determine a name for the new congregation. The name St. Christopher, called the “Christbearer” and is known as the patron saint of travel or journeys, received the most votes and was selected. Following this it was decided that one of the current buildings would become the home of the new church. Another vote was taken to determine which of the four locations would be the host building for the new congregation. The current location, which was the home of St. Luke’s, won.
Following the vote, each congregation had a closing service in its building and the sanctuary light was extinguished and the name removed from the diocesan list of churches.
A consultant team was brought in to help guide the new congregation. The Consultants and the Rev. Faith C. Perrizo, Arch Deacon, worked with the selected committee until the first Rector was called. During the merging period The Reverend Jim Lewis and The Rev John Fondriiak, a Lutheran Pastor, served as main clergies.
On October 1, 2009, St Christopher called its Rector, The Reverend Melissa Remington. She served for 4 years and then resigned to take a position in Florida. We were then back to searching for a new rector when we learned that the Rev Melissa Remington was again available. St Christopher called her in January 2014, and she served us until April 2019.
After her retirement Greg Pennington, who was a postulant a priest in training, assumed pastoral leadership in an informal role with the church receiving clergy leadership by supply priests. On December 4, 2021, Greg Pennington was ordained a Deacon. In January 2022 the Reverend Greg Pennington was Made Deacon in charge. Deacon Pennington served and gave us a sense of stability. In July 2022, he was ordained a Priest and continued to serve St. Christopher as Priest in Charge. In January of 2023, the St. Christopher vestry called Rev Greg Pennington to be our second rector. He served in this role for four months before resigning to take a position as Rector of another congregation.
St. Christopher is the most integrated Episcopal Church in the diocese and one of the most diverse of any denomination. In its 16 years of existence St Christopher has grown in numbers, not without some growing pains, especially when our different buildings were sold. The current makeup of the congregation is almost 50-50. Where 50% of new members know only St. Christopher and 50% of members are from the merged churches.
Our Vision: “A diverse family of faith, sharing in God’s love, Participating in ministries and welcoming all”