South Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act to Incorporate the Vestry and Church Wardens of the Episcopal Church of the Parish of St. George's, Dorchester, and for Vesting in Them and Their Successors in Office, the Several Donations and Other Charitable Funds Belonging to the Parish; and for Other Purposes Therein Mentioned

March 7, 1789

The Statutes at Large of South Carolina - Volume VIII, Pages 149-152

WHEREAS, sundry inhabitants and other members of the Episcopal church in the parish of Saint George Dorchester, did, by their petition to the General Assembly, now sitting, set forth that the church in the said parish had been wantonly destroyed by the British during the late war, whereby the petitioners and others were deprived from attending divine service, and from procuring a minister. And whereas, by the last will and testament of several pious and well disposed persons, divers sums of money were given for the maintenance of a minister and other proper officers for the same, and those pious and good intentions would be more effectually carried into execution if the vestry and church-wardens elected, and hereafter to be elected, by the said inhabitants and freeholders were incorporated and made one body politic in law, and vested with all the powers, privileges and immunities which any of their sister churches enjoy.

I. Be it therefore enacted, by the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives, now met and sitting in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That the vestry and church-wardens of the said parish, elected and to be elected, in manner as heretofore used and accustomed, and their successors in office forever hereafter, shall be, and they are hereby declared to be, incorporated by the name of "The Vestry and Church-Wardens of the Episcopal Church in the Parish of Saint George Dorchester;" and the said vestry and church-wardens, or a majority of them, are hereby vested with all the powers, and authority which are vested in any corporate and established church in this State; and by the name aforesaid, shall, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, have a perpetual succession, and a common seal for their said church, and they and their successors in office, shall be capable in law, to have, hold, receive, possess and enjoy, all the lands, tenements and hereditaments, and the rents and issues thereof, which are now vested in the vestry and church-wardens of the said church, and be capable to sell, alien, demise, exchange or lease the same, in such way and manner and for such term as they or a majority of them shall think expedient; and that the said vestry and church-wardens, and their successors in office, shall be enabled and capable in law to have, hold, receive, possess and retain, all the monies and other personal estates, and securities for the same, and the interest and proceeds thereof, which are now in the possession of said vestry and church-wardens, or any of them, or any other person or persons holding monies or any other personal estates and securities belonging to the said church, and the interest and proceeds thereof, which are now in the hands of any person or persons whomsoever; and also, at their discretion, to call in and again replace at interest, the said monies, or any part thereof.

II. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said vestry and church wardens, and their successors in office, shall be able and capable in law to purchase or receive by devise, gift or donation, and to have, hold and enjoy, to them and their successors in office, forever, or for any term of years, any estate in lands, tenements, hereditaments, slaves, goods, chattels, monies or other personal estates, of what nature or kind soever, and again to sell, alien, demise or dispose of the same, or any part thereof, in such way and manner as they or a majority of them, or their successors in office, shall think expedient and most for the benefit and advantage of the said vestry and church-wardens, for the purposes aforesaid.

III. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That they, the said church-wardens, and their successors in office, are hereby authorized and empowered to have the said parish church completely rebuilt or repaired, and pews erected in the said church, in such manner or form as they or a majority of them shall think proper, and for the costs and expense thereof, to assess the said pews rateably and proportionably, according to the respective value of each pew, which assessment the owners and proprietors of pews are hereby required and enjoined to pay, when called upon by the vestry and church-wardens for that purpose. And in case the said proprietors, or any of them, shall neglect or refuse to pay such assessment, for the space of two months after being required so to do, that then, and in that case, the said vestry and church-wardens shall be, and they are hereby, empowered to sell and convey to the highest bidder, the pew or pews of such proprietor or proprietors so refusing to pay for repairing or rebuilding the said church, as aforesaid, and after deducting the sum or sums assessed thereon, respectively, to pay the overplus, if any there may be, to the several and respective proprietors thereof, when called upon for that purpose.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the said vestry and church-wardens, and their suc cessors in office, or a majority of them, and they are hereby authorized and empowered to sell and convey to any person or persons whom they shall think proper, any of the pews in the said church, not being private property, in such manner and on such conditions as they shall think fit; and also, annually, to assess and rate each and every of the pews in the said church, for such sum or sums of money as they, or a majority of them, shall think right, regard being always had to the situation of the said pews; and if any person or persons shall at any time neglect or refuse to pay the sum or sums of money at which his, her or their pew or pews are rated, within two months after public notice given of such assessment, that then it shall and may be lawful for the said vestry and church-wardens, or a majority of them, to let to hire the said pew or pews, for any term or time not exceeding three years, to any person or persons who may be willing to hire the same.

V. And whereas, in and by an Act of the General Assembly, passed the ninth day of April, which was in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty-four, entitled "An Act for founding and creating, governing, ordering and vesting a free school in the town of Dorchester, in the parish of St. George Dorchester, in Berkeley County, for the use of the inhabitants of South Carolina;" the commissioners of the said free school, by many donations from several charitable and well disposed persons, became vested with divers sums of money and other valuable property. And whereas, by the Act aforesaid, five at least of the commissioners are required to fill up such vacancies as have happened, and either by death or removal from the parish, there not being at this time a sufficient number of commissioners living or residing there, for the purposes by the said Act intended; Be it therefore enacted, That William Postell, Mathias Hutchinson, Thomas Waring, of Pine-Hill, Joseph Waring, Morton Waring, Daniel Stewart, John Dawson, Richard Wainwright, Thomas Smith, and George Evans, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioners to fill up such vacancies as shall have happened, and are also fully invested with all the powers and authorities heretofore invested in any former commissioners appointed under the Act aforesaid.

VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the said vestry and church-wardens, and their successors in office, or a majority of them, to nominate and appoint fit and proper clergymen or ministers for the said church, and all other necessary officers at their will and pleasure, and them, or any or either of them, to displace, put out or remove, and to employ others in their stead; likewise to appoint such salaries, perquisites or rewards for the labor and service of such ministers or other officers so employed, as they, or a majority of them, shall, from time to time, approve of.

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the said vestry and church-wardens, and their successors in office, by the name aforesaid, to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, in any court of judicature within this State, in all actions or suits of what nature or kind soever, which may be sued, commenced or prosecuted against them, in any manner howsoever, touching or concerning the premises.

VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said vestry and church-wardens, and their successors in office, or a majority of them, shall have full power and authority, from time to time, to make and establish such and so many by-laws, rules and orders, as to them shall seem necessary and convenient for the better regulating, governing, well ordering and directing the said corporation, and the minister, teachers, officers, servants and other persons by them employed or to be employed in or about the said church, and the same by-laws, rules and orders to put in use accordingly, and the same, or any part thereof, at their will and pleasure, to alter, change, suspend or revoke ; and the said by-laws, rules, and orders so to be made by the said corporation, shall be binding on every member of the same, and the church by this Act incorporated, and shall be punctually and inviolably observed, according to the tenor and effect thereof, under the several pains, penalties and disabilities therein named; provided always, that the same shall be reasonable, and not contrary or repugnant to the laws of this State.

IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this Act shall be deemed a public Act, and may be given in evidence without special pleading, on trial of any suit, action or appeal, in any court of law or equity in this State.

In the Senate House, the seventh day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, and in the thirteenth year of the Independence or the United States or America.

D. DESAUSSURE, President of the Senate.
JACOB READ, Speaker of the House of Representatives.



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