St. James raising funds to buy painting

WALTERBORO—It was just a 43-year-old Polaroid snapshot until Becky Lee ( put brush to canvas last year to create “Catholic Hill, First Communion.” Now the local community, which celebrated first Communion on May 7, is selling greeting cards of the painting as a fundraiser to purchase the original. It will be featured in the Colleton County Museum during June.

The painting features the historic St. James the Greater Mission, which was established in 1826 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The current church building was constructed in the 1930s. While St. James began as a congregation serving Irish-Catholic planters and their slaves, it has served a predominately African-American congregation for more than a century. The original painting of a first communion and a family picnic, complete with vintage cars, people and a dog, will be housed at the mission after purchase.

St. James the Greater Mission is located at 3087 Ritter Road.