Updated: Jan 4, 2021
REV. DR. CHARLES CHRISTOPHER HEYWARD, SR.
The Rev. Dr. Charles Christopher Heyward, Sr. was born and raised in the Christian home of the Late Rev. St. Julian Heyward, and Mrs. Christine Capers Heyward of John’s Island, South Carolina. He received his early education in the public schools of Charleston County, graduating in the St. John High School Class of 1968. He is a 1972 Bachelor of Arts graduate in Business Administration from Albany State University, Albany, Georgia.
Rev. Heyward’s corporate and business career includes: Manager of General Accounting, a subsidiary of the Equifax Companies; Senior Accountant, Banks, Finley, White & Company CPA’s, the largest African American CPA firm in the country at the time; Assistant Director of Fiscal Management, Atlanta University, where he performed the principle staff accounting work that merged the historic Atlanta University and Clark College; National Financial Representative, the American Cancer Society, where he gave financial and investing oversite in the thirteen Southeastern states and Porto Rico; and the operating of his own Certified Public Accountant firm.
Upon his Call to ministry, Rev. Heyward earned both the Master of Divinity and Doctor in Ministry degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary, in Decatur, Georgia, in 1988 and 1994 respectively. While serving in his first Call at the Calvin Presbyterian Church USA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was the youngest ever elected “Moderator,” in the two hundred years history of the first and largest (168 congregations), Presbytery of Philadelphia.
Rev. Heyward arrived at the St. James Presbyterian Church USA, James Island, on May 1, 1996. Over the 29 years, served in all judicatories of the denomination: Member of the national governance, General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC); Chair of the GAMC’s Audit Committee; twice Commissioner to the General Assembly, Vice-Moderator of General Assembly Committees; Commissioner to the Synod of the South Atlantic; and twice Moderator of the forty-eight congregations of the Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery. Presently he serves on the Presbytery’s Shepherding Team, responsible for administration and nurturing of member congregations. Rev. Heyward has also served nine and ten years terms on the Board of Trustees of Columbia Theological Seminary and Presbyterian College, respectively.
Under Rev. Heyward’s leadership, the St. James PCUSA was a strong, spiritual, inspirational and growing congregation of over 1,250 men, women and baptized youth and children. Its six ministries reach beyond James Island to the larger Charleston-Metro Area; and is the largest African American congregation in the Presbyterian Church USA.
Rev. Heyward is the founding pastor of the congregation’s 501(c)(3) organization, The St. James Foundation. The Foundation serves the entire South Carolina Low County. Its two flagship programs, both created by Rev. Heyward and operating for the past twelve years are: The A+ Performance Male Mentoring, a behavioral modification program and the Young Business Associate, teaching Middle School students how to become entrepreneurs by starting their own businesses. Guided by his leadership, the Foundation is in the process of securing funding for the construction of a Gullah Cultural Center.