Welcome to St. James Lutheran School

St. James Lutheran School - Sumter, SC

History and Vision for SJLS

History of St. James Lutheran School

St. James Lutheran Church explored the idea of having a school for over thirty years.  December 31, 2003, SJLS took its first step towards its founding with the blessings of Pastor Tony Metze and Pastor Elizabeth Platts.

Following this initial meeting, members interested in beginning a school met to determine the feasibility of St. James having a school.  These members were:  Gary Bratton, Lu and Ray Davenport, Betty and Sep Harvin, Brenda Jamison, Pastor Elizabeth Platts, David Pursey (church council representative), Donna Soileau, Reba Mahaffey, Dot Weishuhn, and Carole Wilson, chairwoman.  The Team spent nine months visiting other schools, assessing community needs, having specialists talk at our committee meetings, making presentations to the church council, attending workshops, evaluating numerous Christian curricula, and devising a workable budget. 

A specially called congregational meeting was held Sunday, September 26, 2004, to vote on whether St. James Lutheran Church would allow the school to operate within the church’s walls.  On this joyous day, 108 of the 110 voting members present decided to establish St. James Lutheran School, to open the fall of 2005.  It was a day of rejoicing and a resounding victory for God.

The original Feasibility Committee later became the school’s first board of directors (referred to as SJLS Children’s Ministry Team), chaired by Donna Soileau.

SJLS was granted licensing in the fall of 2009, thus enabling the addition of an extended care program to serve our families with after school and holiday care and programming.  The license also provided for the extension of hours of operation, allowing for the addition of first grade, realizing our vision to be a primary school. (The congregation voted unanimously on May 31, 2009, to extend our ministry from the original preschool to a primary school.)  On May 28, 2010, we celebrated the five year anniversary of St. James Lutheran School.  Expectations are high for further growth as God leads.

This school has been founded as God’s school.  All who work in it are His servants as we bring little children to Him for instruction in the faith and in academics.


V i s i o n

Called by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we teach children to rejoice in the Lord, to understand the grace of God, to serve our Lord, and to share Christ’s love and forgiveness with others.


We realize this mission by providing His children with the highest standard of instruction academically and spiritually, within a safe and secure environment. We teach through precept and example so that the whole child (body, mind, and spirit) is nurtured and equipped to be successful as a child of God.


Our OBJECTIVE – to honor, glorify, and obey God by:


·       Teaching others about Christ’s love

·       Providing a Christian-based curriculum of sound, age-appropriate instruction that prepares students for success in today’s world

·       Teaching servant-hood, compassion, and respect for others by precept, example, and application

·       Helping children understand their uniqueness, gifts and talents, and how to best use these for God



The children of SJLS are called “The Jewels,” because they are God’s special treasures.  Each class has been given a special name that is an expression of thanks to God for its uniqueness and that relates to a chosen Bible verse as follows:


Three-year-old class: The I-Cans

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

                                                      - Philippians 4:13



Four-year-old class: The Gracious Giraffes

“He who lives a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the King for his friend.”            

                                                - Proverbs 22:11


Kindergarten: The Do-Bees 

“Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.”

                                                                                     - James 1:22


First Grade: The Promises

  "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you."                                            

                                                                                    - Luke 24:49


Second Grade: The Believers 

“Sing to the Lord a new song;sing to the Lord, all the earth.”

                                                                                     - Psalm 96:1

Third Grade: The Guardians

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous;be strong.”

                                                                                     - 1 Corinthians 16:13



Please help your child learn his/her special school and class songs and memory verse.