About Us

Doing God’s Work in Bluffton

Our Mission

Our Mission is to make disciples for Jesus Christ by sharing our loving relationship with him through all our actions in worship, nurture, education, evangelism, and outreach.

Our Faith

Bluffton United Methodist Church is just that – a United Methodist Church.  As such, we are bound by the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church; however, there is an authority which is even higher – the Holy Bible.

  • Bible – We believe that the Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God.  Through its pages, we learn, not only who God is, but how he would have us live.  
  • Trinity – We believe in the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • Salvation – We believe that salvation comes by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
  • Sanctification – We believe that each believer is justified by faith, but then the ongoing work of living a sanctified life is through the action of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

Our History

1853 – first church built on Boundary Street by the Methodist Society.  Sold to African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1875.

1890 – first church built on this site.  Destroyed by a hurricane in 1940.

1945 – Initial construction of the present building.

1962 – Education building added

1974 – New sanctuary built

2015 – Sanctuary nearly doubled in size, and Music Suite added.

The church is within Bluffton’s National Register Historic DistrictRead More about our History.

Our United Methodist Connection

TheUnited Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church is a connectional ministry – we are all connected to each other the local churches are connected.  Together we can accomplish things we could not do on our own.  Although the terminology takes some getting used to, our connection to the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church provides training experiences, leadership experience, and opportunities to work together for the common good.

We have a close connection to the founding of Methodism.  John Wesley, founder of Methodism along with his brother Charles, joined James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia in (present day) Savannah in 1735, just two years after Oglethorpe landed.  John and Charles, ministers of the Church of England, led a lively renewal movement within the Church which turned into an organized Methodist movement in the Colonies in the 1760s.  John Wesley is perhaps best known by the words attributed to him that you see to the right.  He may not have said these precise words, but they were embodied in his many sermons.

Links to United Methodist Church Websites

United Methodist Church
United Methodist Committee on Relief

South Carolina United Methodists
South Carolina Conference
Walterboro District

Words from John Wesley

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.

Our Staff

Rev. Scarlett Hester

Rev. Scarlett Hester

Pastor

Rev. Scarlett and her husband Wayne grew up in farming communities in the Pee Dee area of South Carolina.  She graduated from Wofford College and a few years later answered God’s call and matriculating in the Divinity School at Duke.  Scarlett served in five appointments in South Carolina before coming to us in 2020.  Their children: Samantha and Zach are excited to be with us as well.

Rev. Scarlett: “We are praying for you, and for us, that we will be blessed in each other and and the world will be blessed through us.”

Learn more about Rev. Scarlett

Laurel Karper

Laurel Karper

Director of Christian Education

Laurel has been an active member in the United Methodist Church since a child. While at college at Misericordia University, she explored her faith and religion, always circling back to how her small town church with big hearts had raised her. She has ministered abroad to help the Sisters of Mercy in a rehabilitation hospital and vocational school. Laurel has a Master’s degree from Shepherd University in college student development, and provides educational consulting. She is excited to lead Christian Education at Bluffton UMC and would be happy to meet for a cup of coffee to share ideas.

Ella W. Davis

Ella W. Davis

DIrector of Music Ministry

Ella has served us since 2004 directing Chancel Choir, Cherub Choir, and Praise Team as well as coordinating the Wesley Ringers.  She arranges performances at BUMC of outside groups as a service to the community and to assist in worship.

Studying at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Hochschule für Musik in Munich, Germany, and Duquesne University, she taught school vocal music, and served as director of The Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus before moving to Bluffton in 2001. Read more about Ella’s distinguished career.

Beth Corry

Beth Corry

Organist

Beth received her BA in MusEd degree from Salisbury University and has served as Music Director and/or Organist at several churches in the Low Country and Northern Virginia.  She is a collaborative music consultant and accompanist with several local schools and organizations and serves on the Boards of several music organizations in the Hilton Head area.

Beth lives in Bluffton, SC, with her husband, Jeff, and has two grown sons, Kevin and Sean; and a perky Pomeranian, Beauregard.  Read more about Beth.

Pat Simmons

Pat Simmons

Office Administrator

Pat has been our Office Administrator since 2004.  Her school studies focused on administrative office skills with her first job at Alcoa.  After her children were all in school, she worked part-time in a real estate office and then as a “Temp”, going from place to place. Being a temp helped her to learn a variety of skills.

Our Building

We had a major building expansion in 2015 to handle our growth in all of our ministries. The sanctuary seating capacity was doubled and now seats 400. Our new music suite provides rehearsal and storage space for our adult and youth choirs along with our hand bell and chime choirs. Our Fellowship Hall accommodates church and social gatherings and provides meeting space for community groups using the church during the week. In the education wing we have classrooms for adult, youth, and children Sunday school programs. The Nursery is also located in the Education Wing. 

The church offices are on the Calhoun Street entrance to the Fellowship Hall.

Read more about the History of Bluffton United Methodist Church.

Bluffton United Methodist Church