St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
In 1969, St. Stephen’s began as a summer chapel of Trinity Episcopal Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Membership grew; in 1974, St. Stephen’s became a year-round congregation and mission of the Diocese and eventually a parish in North Myrtle Beach (Horry County). The original building is our present day parish hall to which was added classrooms for Sunday School and youth activities. Our present church building, which was erected in the early 1980's, is able to accomodate 200 worshippers comfortably. Our regular Sunday Worship Services are at 8:00 and 10:30 am using Rite II. During the Lenten Season, we use Rite I.
Volunteer opportunities are available with our many ministries, including opportunities with our partners in the local community.
Kids Hope Mentoring
St. Stephen’s is an affiliate of KIDS HOPE USA. This is a mentoring program started in Michigan in the mid 1990’s with over 1,000 church-school partnerships across the country. It is based on a series of one-to-one relationships. St. Stephen’s partners with Loris Elementary School. Then, one student is matched with one mentor, sometimes lasting for up to 5 years. One meeting takes place each week and lasts for one hour. One mentoring relationship is paired with one Prayer Partner who prays for both the mentor and mentee during and after each session. Over the last 7 years, more than 50 parishioners and associate members have enjoyed these mentoring relationships.
BackPack Buddies is a ministry of Help4Kids. Those organizations pack small lunch bags of food that can easily be prepared or just consumed by children during weekends when school is not in session to provide students in need with breakfast and lunch. Help4Kids distributes these bags each week to many of the Horry County Schools including Loris Elementary School. During the school year on Friday mornings, two St. Stephen’s volunteers, many times with student assistants, distribute between 250-400 bags to all the classrooms.
North Strand Helping Hand
North Strand Helping Hand "NSHH" distributes food, clothing and other items to those in the community who need a “helping hand.” St. Stephen’s has been designated the “Rice Church” by NSHH. Parishioners are encouraged to bring one to three pound bags of rice which are donated to NSHH. Over and above the collection of rice, St. Stephen’s contributes financially and otherwise to the ongoing ministry of NSHH.
Mobile Meals of the North Strand
Mobile Meals of the North Strand delivers nutritionally balanced meals to those individuals in our community who are unable to prepare such meals on their own. This ministry was started by St. Stephen’s and other community churches years ago and we continue to support it financially along with helping with deliveries. Every 9 weeks, St. Stephen’s parishioners volunteer to assist in the delivery of meals. In 2017, our Rector, Father Merchant, volunteered to lead Mobile Meals of the North Strand as President.
North Strand Housing Shelter
In 2009, St. Stephen's, along with several other area churches was involved with initial planning efforts to address the homeless in the North Strand. This led to preparing for the first over-night shelter in this area of Horry County. In 2010, a house was acquired, which eventually became North Strand Housing Shelter (NSHS). Contributions and fundraising activities helped with initial start up costs to open and operate. The NSHS began housing guests in December, 2010. St. Stephen's has supported this Shelter financially and our Rector, Father Merchant, serves on the Board of Directors.
The Rummage Sale has been a part of this parish since its beginning. It has grown over the years to become a major event in the life of the parish. The net proceeds of the rummage sale are used for outreach and parish operations. The preparation for each sale is an ongoing process of collecting, sorting, pricing, and storing — requiring MANY hands! It is a wonderful weekly fellowship, and the rewards come the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in May and October.
American Red Cross Blood Drive
Twice per year, St. Stephens alternates with our neighbor, King of Glory Lutheran Church, in providing space and volunteers to assist during blood drives for the American Red Cross.
Teen Angels is a local organization that assists homeless and less fortunate North Myrtle Beach High School students. St. Stephen's supports Teen Angels through financial contributions and donations of clothing/shoes.
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Episcopal Relief & Development continues to responded to the needs of vulnerable communities in coastal South Carolina in partnership with the Diocese of South Carolina.
801 11th Avenue North
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582