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First Church Service on Fripp Island


This Article was written By Page Miller

First Church Service on Fripp Island

Fripp Island real estate

John Lee


Concerns about basic services brought Fripp residents together. The need for a fire department was foremost. Using Fripp Island Public Service District property tax dollars supplemented by the contributions of over thirty residents who contributed $200 each, Fripp was able to purchase a second hand pump engine for $18,000 in 1968 from another town in South Carolina. A three sided shed with a palm frond roof sheltered the red fire engine, which had Fripp Island Fire Department lettered in gold on the doors. It was not until March 1971, under the leadership of Ken Engler, that volunteers began to hold weekly fire drills. The volunteers had many humorous experiences, such as having to use a hair dryer to dry out the plugs of the fire engine. Fripp Island Real Estate

Residents also united around a desire to have worship services on Fripp. The first plans for the layout of the Fripp Resort, conceived in 1960, had a plot of land designated as a church conference center. While this structure never materialized, the commitment to a religious presence on Fripp remained. Bill Turberville, owner of a large insurance agency in Columbia and a fraternity brother of Kilgore’s, built a vacation home on Fripp in 1967. That year he coordinated an Easter sunrise service held in a home overlooking the ocean. Subsequently A.J. Kilgore spearheaded the effort to have regular church services. During the summer of 1969, there were weekly mid week vespers services at La Tai Inn with ministers from churches in Beaufort conducting the services. This stimulated a campaign to raise money for a chapel. However, after this initial experiment with religious services and after raising a few thousand dollars, there was a lapse before a resurgence of interest in 1973. Fripp Island Real Estate

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