No, St. Paul didn't have an iPhone. No Twitter, no Facebook, no Snap Chat.

Social media of his day involved a lot of letter writing, but the goal was the same: to spread news of Jesus and the church.

Today, more and more church leaders nationwide and locally are embracing social media as the most potent, and potentially underused, evangelical tool of the times.

That's why, with hopes of "making the Good News go viral," The Episcopal Church and its local dioceses are holding the first Social Media Sunday today.

"When you say, 'go out into the world,' this is a way to go out into the world and let our line shine," says Holly Behre, spokeswoman for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, which has been holding diocesan workshops to talk about communication.

Social media is a key emphasis.

"Unlike a lot of other ways we communicate, like church newsletters, we are emphasizing that the people in our pews can be ministers and go out and spread the gospel through social media," Behre adds.

Church leaders are encouraging people to post, share and tweet about their churches today using the hashtag #Episcopal.

Among other ideas organizers are suggesting to parishioners: tweet sermon highlights, post photos on Instagram of beautiful churches, check in on Facebook from local churches and share photos, or take Vine videos.

"The aim is to get people already using social media to recognize it as a way to be in community," Behre says.

Locally, she hopes to tap into the 30 Episcopal congregations in Eastern South Carolina, but it's all part of a larger effort across The Episcopal Church.

Today also is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, which celebrates the lives of these two principal pillars of the early church and its growth.

For more, go to episcopalshare.org.

Reach Jennifer Hawes at 937-5563, follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes or subscribe to her at facebook.com/jennifer.b.hawes.