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.  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

Sally LeSage

Sally LeSage

Director of Christian Education

Sally joined the staff at BUMC in November 2022 after volunteering with Children’s Ministries and facilitating a Disciple class. Although her college degree was in Communications, Sally found her true calling working with young children after having her own! She served as Preschool Director for 6 years at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church and before that as Music Director for 8 years at Northside UMC Preschool, both in Atlanta, GA. She was a dance mom, swim mom, band mom, choir mom and Girl Scout leader among other volunteer activities.

After “retiring” to the Low Country with her husband Jerry in 2018, Sally held several part-time jobs, including being a receptionist for a veterinarian’s office in the area before landing where God planted her!

Sally and Jerry have 3 wonderful grown daughters, Sara Lynn, Annie and Audrey and a precious daughter-in-law, Aroua. Their adopted rescue dog Maggie keeps them in line.

Keeley DiMartino

Keeley DiMartino

DIrector of Music Ministry

Keeley and her family joined the Bluffton community in 2021 after feeling led from God to move south. She has a degree in Music Education from Kent State University and a Master of Elementary and Special Education from Seton Hill University. Keeley served as the Music Director at Community United Methodist Church in Irwin, PA for seven years before relocating.

When she’s not making music at church, she’s spending time with her wonderful husband Joseph, their three children, Clayton, Isla, and Bennett, and their two dogs, Flo and
Figaro!

Michael Cole

Michael Cole

Organist, Pianist, Accompanist

At the age of fifteen, I was gifted a Lowrey spinet organ and began playing both self-taught and with private instruction. My first true employment as a musician was a last-minute substitute for the church organist who fell ill, and it ended up becoming a permanent position when I was 21.  Through those early years, I would play at rural country churches in Ohio and as time passed I began substituting at larger churches, many times as the “summer organist”.

My positions have included permanent organist at First United Methodist, now Christ Church, in Galion, Ohio, followed by a period of time in Vermont where I continued as a part-time organist (Shelburne UMC, First Congregational Church Burlington, Trinity Episcopal Church Shelburne, Ascension Lutheran Church South Burlington and First Baptist Church Burlington) while pursuing my primary career in construction management.

Upon returning to Ohio, I served as organist at Crestline UMC and in 2006, moved to Bluffton opening my cabinet and woodworking business.  I have continued playing both in substitute and permanent roles here in Beaufort County at Church of the Cross, All-Saints Episcopal Church and most recently, Carteret Street UMC in Beaufort.

I am married to Melea Brotherton, who is originally from West Virginia, and we are blessed to have a blended family including 3 children, seven grandchildren.

I am extremely excited to be begin my ministry at Bluffton United Methodist and look forward to serving your community for many years.

Laurie Palmer

Laurie Palmer

Church Administrator

Laurie and her husband, John, moved to the lowcountry in 2011 from central Pennsylvania. She worked for Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory for 15 years and went on to work for two large manufacturing companies, one of which was Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. She brings over twenty-five year’s administrative experience and has attended several professional development classes during her employment at Penn State. She enjoys traveling, crafting and spoiling her two grandchildren, along with her four-legged K-9 friend. She is very excited to be a part of the BUMC church staff and looks forward to getting to know everyone.

Our Policies and Guidelines

In order for the church to operate, there are policies and guidelines established by the Church Council, Trustees, and Pastoral Staff. 

BUMC Policies

Please contact the church office with any questions regarding church policies and guidelines. 

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