The Grand Strand Church of Christ was formed in 1990 by approximately 20 families who had the vision to follow the biblical principles as set forth by Jesus and start a Church of Christ in the area south of Myrtle Beach. For the first four years, it met on 44th Avenue in Myrtle Beach while putting together the resources and funds required to purchase land and construct a church building in Surfside Beach SC.

Within a year, the congregation lost several of its members with the closing of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Although this presented a setback to the congregation, it continued to grow and the original plan was never abandoned. In 1993, the members of the congregation secured a parcel of land on Glenns Bay Road and with the Lord’s ever-present guidance, the dream soon became a reality. In 1993, the Church also hired its first full-time minister.


  • 1990 – 1993             Paul Leonard and Jimmie Williams
  • 1993 – 2000            Tom Gilliam
  • 2000 – 2002            Patrick Mead
  • 2002 – today           Jay Thornell
  • 2017 – 2018            Blake Lawson, Youth & Family
  • 2021 – today           Gina Gordon, Children & Women

In September 1994, four years after the first gathering of this church, the building in Surfside was completed. For many, it was a culmination of countless hours of hard work, as they had used their talents in the building process. The “over the hill gang” defined the spirit of the congregation on the whole as several retired men dedicated their lives for several months to the building of this church building. Many made extreme sacrifices to ensure the completion of the dream. In October 1994, after being in the new building for a month, the official Opening Service was held and many attended who had helped from afar.

On Sunday, March 5, 2000, nearly 10 years after we met as a church for the first time, we installed our first Eldership.  On April 30th, 2000, we installed our first group of Deacons.  Since then, several men have taken on this leadership position.  Those who have served as Elders include:

Previous Elders:

  • Stan Cox*
  • Rocky Nelson*
  • Dillon Bayes
  • Chuck Duncan
  • David Jones
  • Scott Waltman
  • Don Craig

* First Elders serving the Grand Strand Church of Christ.

Those serving in the Elder position today can be found on the Church Leadership page under the About Us tab.

Today we have an average attendance of 233 on Sunday morning and a little less than 100 who attend our Wednesday night study classes. It is fair to say we are an assimilated pool of diverse people; very few of our members were born and raised here. Because of our various backgrounds, we seek to practice love and humility towards each other when all of our beliefs and convictions do not match up, and we remain united in Christ.

Surfside Beach, SC