St. John has enjoyed a 49-acre peninsula on Clarks Hill (now Thurmond) Lake almost since the lake was created in 1954. The property is on South Carolina Highway 28, about 25 miles outside of Augusta. These wooded acres provide a natural retreat close to the city, with a sand beach for swimming, a pavilion and firepit overlooking the lake, a lodge with kitchen and dining area, and the Chapel Under the Pines.
The outdoor chapel was created in 1964. Every June and July, ministers from various denominations have preached each Sunday from a floating pulpit to a congregation seated in a natural amphitheater on the shore, or on boats anchored in the cove. During the months of Covid lockdown when our sanctuary in Augusta was closed, the chapel served as our church, the only place where members could gather safely for services.
St. John members come up here to camp, swim, picnic, boat, and relax in the breeze on the point overlooking the lake. Every evening, the sunset preaches a beautiful sermon.
You can reach the chapel by car, but many families choose to worship from their boat. Bench seating is available, but you’re free to bring a more comfortable seat if you like.
Restrooms are available, and there’s a picnic area for fellowship after the service.
Address: 12553 Hwy 28 South Clarks Hill, SC 29821
The lake property is available for recreational use throughout the year. Members with a key are welcome to enjoy the property for day use at any time. If you need a key, contact the church. If you have lost your key, we appreciate a $5 donation for a new one. The key unlocks the gate and the men and women’s bathrooms in the red building. If you decide to camp or rent the pavilion or lodge, please check the calendar and then make your request to the church by email or phone 706-724-9641. Even at times when the pavilion or lodge may be rented, other church members may still visit the property. Please follow guidelines and check-in/check-out procedures (e.g. the water is turned on and off with each visit). Always let us know if you see a problem.
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