The dream of a church called can be traced back to October 6, 1997. It was then that a planning group, called the Dream Team and led by Rev. Russell Freeman, began laying the groundwork for the first service of a new congregation. The Dream Team continued to meet in St. Luke's fellowship hall, and then later in restaurants, and still later in the Academy for Career Excellence, and even the Outpatient Clinic.
Records show that the church was established and held its first worship service on Palm Sunday, April 5, 1998, in the the Academy for Career Excellence (known back then as the Career Education Center.) For many years, the church was known as the "church in the box" as it moved from location to location to unpack, hold worship, repack, and then do it all over again the next week.
The name Church of the Palms United Methodist was officially adopted on September 27, 1998. Bible studies were held, choirs established, and additional families added.
The property on Highway 170 (Okatie Highway) was purchased in January 26, 1999 with the first worship service on the property being an outdoors Easter Sunrise Service on April 4, 1999.
The first worship service at the new Bluffton-Okatie Outpatient Center was held on December 5, 1999. There are many stories of worship held in that lobby area!
The first leadership team meeting was recorded as occurring on March 20, 2000, with a resolution to pursue the construction of a church building adopted on April 17, 2000
Spiritual Formation continued with the first confirmation class received on June 11, 200 and the first worship service held at the Okatie Business Park on January 27, 2001.