Andy Hunter is one of our oldest friends here at the South Carolina Picture Project. Among his favorite pastimes is traveling through small towns, exploring back roads and meeting people along the way. Andy has contributed images and stories from every corner of our state. We always look forward to featuring his work because his spirit is every bit as beautiful as his photos.
When the Reverend Andy Hunter is not documenting the beauty he sees in daily life with one of his many cameras, the self-proclaimed “gadget addict” is pastoring his flock at Antioch Baptist Church in Edgefield. A proud graduate of Clemson University, Andy is not ashamed to say that he also attended the University of South Carolina for graduate school. However, after studying computer science, psychology, and mathematics, Andy felt called to seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he has served the world as a “country parson” ever since.
We once asked Andy to name his favorite South Carolina food, and he did not hesitate – shrimp, he said, hands-down! However when asked his favorite South Carolina place, he balked, explaining that it would be too difficult to decide. While attending Clemson, Andy loved looking at the mountains of Pickens County, and to this day, he remains enthralled with the beauty of the Blue Ridge.
That said, Andy’s joy lies in exploring all of the back roads of the Palmetto State, where every now and then, he encounters what he calls the “unexpected miracle shot.” Once, while attending a wedding reception, he discovered Cottontop, a turn-of-the-century homestead and event site in the Orangeburg County community of Norway. Andy says he never gets tired of photographing Cottontop, be it blanketed in sunflowers or snow.
Andy in His Own Words
FAMILY: I am a bit of a rarity among Baptist pastors in that I’m single. My mother and brother live in North Augusta, and my “other” family is the congregation of Antioch Baptist Church.
WORK: I have been in the ministry for almost four decades, and I now serve as pastor at Antioch Baptist Church in Edgefield County. For over 22 years, I served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Denmark. I liken myself to a country parson. While at Denmark, my long tenure enabled me to journey with members from birth through adulthood. In addition to all the tasks that pastors do, I also tend to be the church’s tech support guy and photographer. One of my ministerial passions is to connect people across generations as our older members have so much wisdom and insight to pass on to younger folks.
HOBBIES: I enjoy finding creative uses for technology. I enjoy using technology – whether my camera or computer or both – to encourage people. I help my congregation celebrate life by taking pictures of new babies, anniversary celebrations, and special church events. When I officiate a wedding, part of my wedding gift is a simple flash drive with several hundred candid photos from the rehearsal and the wedding day. I enjoy giving someone a gift that you can’t get anywhere else. Over the past couple of years, I’ve added a couple of drones to my photographic tool box and have thoroughly enjoyed the new perspective they bring.
FAVORITE QUOTATION: I don’t have one. In Scripture, there are so many passages that one could choose as a favorite. Christ told his followers that the two greatest things a person can do with life are to love God and to love others. With His help, I seek to do this with my life. As far as a quote that helps me to remember what loving people looks like, I like this one: “Be kind to everyone you meet, for everyone you meet is waging a great battle.” It has been attributed to many sources including Ian Maclaren, Plato, and Philo of Alexandria.
FAVORITE PLACES: I enjoy exploring new places, especially the back roads of our state. It’s not just about finding a favorite place (our state is so full of great places), but it’s also about finding the right time, and the right light. Light makes all the difference (in a photograph and in a person’s life). One of my favorite “times” is right before or after sunrise, especially with some fog or mist around. I’m a big fan of “sunbeams” no matter where I find them!
CONTACT: You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTOS: See all of Andy’s photos in the SC Picture Project.