Rev. P.N. Lynch Council 704

Council History

Rev. P.N. Lynch Council #704


Bishop Lynch

The Reverend P. N. Lynch Council No.704 was organized by Father Charles Dubois Wood with the guidance and blessing of the Most Reverend H.P. Northrop, Fourth Bishop of Charleston, who was a Charter Member. It was the first Knights of Columbus Council in the two Carolinas, and the means of the development and growth of Columbianism in this section.

The initial membership roll contained 55 members who obtained the Charter at a meeting in the Irish Volunteers Hall on Vanderhorst St. The first Grand Knight was Francis B. Moran and the first Chaplain the Very Rev. James Budds. The following year, 1903, the first class of new candidates was initiated on May 20th in Hibernian Hall. A total of 20 men became Knights under the direction of Captain James Kehoe of Washington.

In 1906 the infant Council began construction of the present Hall on Calhoun Street with the purchase of the site from J. M. Connelley whose mortuary establishment was then located there. This old building was razed, and the Board of Directors of building, composed of: Chas P. Aimar, Chairman; John F. Rafferty, Vice-President; Thomas J. Price, Secretary and Treasurer; Henry Schachte, Sr., P. J. Pendergast, Wm. J, Leonard, W, J. Condon, Sr., Henry Oliver, and D. C. Barbot, Architect, began the construction of the new edifice which was completed in 1910.

Throughout the years that followed Rev. P.N. Lynch Council has ever undertaken to follow the ideals and inspiration of the great Catholic Bishop whose name it bears. Bishop Lynch, during his lifetime, was the outstanding ecclesiastic of the entire South during her most trying years. On many occasions he refused promotion and transfer, reaffirming constantly his preference to remain with the people of the Confederacy, where he felt he could do the most good. Our Council has striven to emulate the illustrious Bishop Lynch, and through the years its officers, men of foresight and ability, have striven to raise ever higher the standard of Columbianism, and to strengthen the support of the Catholic Church in South Carolina.

The list of Grand Knights that have served the Council now numbers 76. Of these, 31 are alive today, with Francis B. Kerr, Sr., PGK, PFN, FM as the senior of the group.

Through two world wars the Council has taken an active part in the defense of her country, both in giving its members to the armed, services and in the civilian measures so urgently needed during those perilous times.

Under the Supreme Council Five Point Program it has, in the years 1936, 1938, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, and 1952, been on the Honor Roll of our Order. It was a Century Club Council in 1946, 1947, and 1948, and on two occasions met all five objectives being awarded a Star Council Certificate in 1944 and 1952. STAR COUNCIL SINCE 1977?

On three occasions it has cooperated in the establishment of a Diocesan Council of Catholic Men. In 1940 it spearheaded the drive of the Associated Catholic Charities. In 1943 it distributed over 10,000 Prayer Cards for the men in the armed forces.

In 1925 it organized and sponsored the first State Retreat for Catholic Men, which is still an active part of its yearly program. In 1950 it began a Radio Rosary Series during the Lenten Season, which was a prelude to the Family Rosary Crusade of Father Peyton the following year.

In 1951 it held the first Corporate Communion of Catholic Men, with over 1200 men in attendance, the second Communion was held in 1952 with over 1100 male Catholics receiving the Holy Eucharist.

Likewise, through the years it has organized and sponsored out-standing civic, athletic, and cultural events. In 1921 the first Columbus Day Parade was presented, along with an outstanding Armistice flay Celebration.

All through its three-quarters century of activity the Charleston Rev. P.N. Lynch Council 704 has ever kept in mind the youth of the city. The first Boy Scout Band, Thanksgiving Day Relay Races for high schools and colleges, and various athletic teams have all developed through the Knights.

Ever mindful of their pledge of charity, the members have cared for the orphans with summer vacations and a special Christmas party. The Catholic Home as well as the Catholic Library has been recipients of its help.

Our Council was the 13th in the Order to pay its assessment of the Knights of Columbus Bell Towers at Immaculate Conception Shrine in Washington, D. C.

During the period 1962 to 1977 EXPAND TO 2000, the council donated over $50,000 for Scholarships and charitable activities. During the same period, the council raised over $50,000 for the Knights Chapel at Children's Home and the Bishop's projects.

Council has distributed over 60,000 Knights of Columbus religious book covers to area's Catholic Schools from 1972 to 1977.

Mindful of our faith, council has provided financial support to Birthright, a non-profit, volunteer counseling service that offers alternates to abortion.

Co-sponsored Pro-Life Booth at Coastal Carolina Fair each year. God alone knows how many peoples lives have been changed for the better through the sponsorship of Pro Life Booth through the years.

The family of Harry C. Conklin, Sr., who was a members for over 50 years, established the HARRY C. CONKIN, SR., Memorial Award in 1976 to recognize members of council who have rendered outstanding services to the Rev. P. N. Lynch Council 704 over a sustained period of time.

Another first, realizing the needs of our members the Knights of Columbus Council 704 Federal Credit Union was established in 1972 and would provide savings and loan services to our members and their families for _____ years.

Three Council and Three Assemblies in jurisdiction of South Carolina have been Chartered Members of Rev, P. N. Lynch Council 704., Bishop Northrop (Sumter); Msgr. Gwynn (Greenville); and Msgr. DuBois Wood (Florence). Today the Council lists over ____ men on its rolls, and stands ready to continue in the next Quarter century the work and example as so proudly fostered by the members in the last ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

Ever following its great principles of CHARITY, UNITY, FRATERNITY, AND PATRIOTISM, the Knights of Columbus Rev, P.N. Lynch Council 704 in Charleston looks forward with renewed vigor and inspiration to the years ahead.


Article is circa: early 2000's
Credited to: Sir Knight, Al Stiles, PGK