Regional growth prompts expansion of Latter-day Saints church in Summerville

Photo 1 (photo credit: courtesy): Nexton Ward Bishop Brian A. Jaeckel (center), Eric C. Cook (left), Jarom C. Schertz (right).

Regional growth leads to church expansion in the Charleston area

CHARLESTON – With the Charleston area’s continued population explosion, the number of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also increasing. As a result, the Church has created two new local congregations, while other existing congregations were reorganized to better accommodate the members.

Congregations are organized geographically and members attend worship services near their home. Each Latter-day Saint belongs to a stake, which is similar to a Catholic diocese.

The new congregations – the Nexton Ward and the Summerville 4th Ward - are both located in the Summerville area, where some of the area’s most robust growth is occurring.

The Nexton Ward bishop presides over a congregation of approximately 270 families, located in a geographic area of Summerville with the boundaries of Highway 176 (state road) on the north, Highway 95 on the west, Highway 52 on the east and to the south to Interstate Highway 26.

Bishops of the Latter-day Saints Church are unpaid volunteers, and as a result, they are employed in full-time occupations. They spend many hours administering the programs and supervising the volunteers in their congregations.

The Nexton Ward Bishop, Brian A. Jaeckel, is an IT project manager at Boeing and lives in Summerville. He and his wife, Janie, have four children.

He serves his congregation along with his First Counselor Jarom C. Schertz and Second Counselor Eric C. Cook.

Schertz is a programmer analyst at Boeing and lives in Summerville. He and his wife, Kristy, have two children.

Cook is a human resources specialist for the U.S. State Department and resides in Summerville with his wife, Amber, and four kids.

Jason T. Swartz was named as bishop of the Summerville 4th Ward. He presides over a congregation of approximately 175 families (about 310 members), located in a geographic area of Summerville with the boundaries of Alt. Highway 17on the north, Dorchester Rd. and Dorchester Creek on the west, Miles Jamison Rd. and Railroad Ave. on the east and Old Fort Drive to the south.

Swartz works as the East Region Tunnel Practice Leader for Black & Veatch and lives in Summerville with his wife, Heather, and their five children.

He serves his congregation along with his First Counselor Jerry K. Young and Second Counselor Jarom R. Heaps.

Young is a technical designer for Boeing and lives in Summerville with his wife, Emily, and their four kids. Heaps is the vice president of Veyo Partners and lives in Summerville with his wife, Maddie, and their two children.

Boundary changes for other existing LDS congregations in the Charleston area occurred to better balance the number of members within each congregation.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has more than 16 million members worldwide and more than 30,000 congregations across the globe.

Latter-day Saints are encouraged to give charitable and community service, care for the poor and needy, and enhance the quality of life in the community. Hallmarks of the LDS faith are a respect for the diverse beliefs and unique contributions of all the world’s faiths, the joy of serving our neighbors, and following the example of Jesus Christ.

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