Richland County Histories

Taken From the Inventory of Church Archives-Survey of Churches 1935


Antioch A.M.E. Zion1838 Richland County

Eastover near Hwy # 76

Organized about 1838. It is thought members came here from Old Logs a church now defunct, and built a log house. At first whites and negroes all worshipped together. In 1866 it was given to the negroes, in 1874 it was torn down and another log church built. In 1900 it too was torn down and present one erected. Present building was dedicated in 1900. Building 30' x 40' old paint nearly gone, rough seats, bell & belfry, no special features. Cemetery near. Lot including cemetery 2 acres. First settled clergy was Anderson Burns, tenure 1866-1870. Educational background unknown. Present membership 50, present pastor I. B. Ruffin, Sumter. Old records burned in a dwelling house. Logs M.E. South organized 1830, lapsed in 1910. 40' x 50' frame, not painted no belfry or special features, home made seats building falling down, cemetery still used. Possibly a scanty record is found in books of M.E. Conference prior to 1910. Very popular church 60 years ago (prior to survey) This was evidenced by the large cemetery and very old inscriptions on monuments also by the number who still use it for burying ground. This information was given by L. W. Wilson, the oldest man in the community.

Bethel Baptist(1905) Richland County


Organized in 1905. First settled clergy Rev. John Reese, tenure 1905-1910.

Beulah Baptist Church(1806) Richland County

E. of US #76 (White)

Organized 1806. About the beginning of 1800, when Congaree Church, moved its seat of worship southward to the present location on Tom's Creek, the Baptist in the old neighborhood who were left without a church began to meet in the Minervaville Academy building, where they organized a branch church, with 9 white and 17 colored members. In 1808, a small frame building was erected on Cedar Creek, near Horrell Hill; in 1828 this was replaced by a large frame building, which was burned in 1927; in 1936 a rectangular red brick building, sunday school rooms across back, capacity 200, was erected. Church property, including 1 acre lot and old cemetery. Dr. Jonathan Maxey preached the sermon at the organization. First pastor, Rev. Amos Dubose, dates unknown. After the war between the States, the negro members, taking possession, held the property until 1871, when a Mr. Adams built a chimney to the church, moved in, and the next Sunday met the negroes at the door with his shotgun and dared them to enter his dwelling. Upon the subsidence of racial trouble, he restored the church to the white members, who resumed services. Bibliography: A History of Richland County, vol. 1 1732-1805 pp 128, 134 J.P. Isenhower, "Sketch of Beulah Baptist Church", 1923.

Dabneys Pond Negro Baptist(1867) Richland County

18 miles N.E. Columbia, Old Camden Road

Organized built and dedicated in 1867 on a 4 acre plot given by Jack Pate. It was a rectangular log house 30'x40', wooden windows cemetery at the rear. Charter members 8. Pastored by Calvin Bynum?, tenure 1867-1876. First a frame church burned second a small frame church pulled down 1907(1917)? to build a larger. Rebuilt and dedicated (1907) 1917? Rectangular frame building 60'x40', painted white. Belfry on the gable and one bell. First settled clergy Rev. Sam Chavers. Tenure 1875-

Daughters of Zion Negro Baptist(1890) Richland County

4 miles w. Wilson Mill County Road

Organized 1890. About 1870 a number moved from Old Zion and began a church to have a more central location. First was a frame building (Old Zion- moved 1890-built and changed name). The building was 40' x 45' very plain, unpainted and had a cemetery. This building began to decay and 1915 it was torn down and a new frame one was erected 30' x 50', unpainted, a belfry on the gable and one bell, home made pews, seating 250: a cemetery and Free school is on the 2 acre plot, which was given by a large land owner-Thomas Campbell (White). First settled clergy was Mitchel Shaw, tenure 1890-1895. No records are kept, only information is from aged members and others in the community.

Free Hope A.M.E.(1884) Richland County

6 mi s. Blythwood U.S. 21

Organized 1884. First was a frame building 100 yards from present site, burned in 1922. Dedicated in 1923. Rectangular frame building 50' x 30', belfry and one bell on one front corner, a lower tower on other corner. No inscriptions. Seating capacity 250. 1 acre of land. First settled clergy Rev. John Edwards, tenure 1884-1886. Educational background Grammar school Richland County. Present membership 46. 29 charter members. There was no A.M.E. church in this community so Mr. Harmon Koon gave them one acre of land and the church was built. There are only 46 members.

Good Will Negro Baptist(1910) Richland County

Highway 76 5 mi N. Eastover

Organized 1910. A rectangular frame building 30'x 40' unpainted, a porch and no belfry. Has glass windows, with wooden shutters for protection, home made seats, a cemetery is near. First settled clergy Rev. B. K. Kelly, Eastover. Educational background Grammar school, Eastover, S. C. Charter members 15.

Jerusalem Negro Baptist(1890) Richland County


Organized 1890. First was a small frame building. Present building built 1918. Rectangular frame building 50'x30', belfry on the gable and one bell, porch across the front supported by small round columns. First settled clergy Rev. Seamore Jones, Tenure 1890-1892. Interior very plain with rough benches.

Mt. Moriah Negro Baptist(1872) Richland County

11 miles S.E. Hopkins Hwy #48

Organized 1872. First was a rectangular frame building. Present building was rebuilt and dedicated 1905. Rectangular frame building 45'x30', a porch across the front with a gable supported by 4 columns carving over wide front doors. First settled clergy Rev. H. Goldman, tenure 1872-1880.

Mt. Nebo(1875) Richland County

Organized 1875. First brush arbor, second a frame building 1876 present built 1910. A fine nicely painted rectangular church 50'x35', belfry on the gable on porch and one bell, windows with venetian blinds. Two front doors. Interior very plain with rough benches. Mt Nebo is on a 2 acre plot of land formerly owned and used by white people. But was given to the negroes in 1866. 1910 the old building was torn down and a new one erected. First settled clergy Rev. James Scott, tenure 1875-1885. John Allen pastored 1930-1938.

Mt Pilgrim Negro Baptist(1897) Richland County


Organized 1897. First church was a small rectangular frame building. Present building dedicated 1924, rebuilt 1924. Large rectangular frame building 50' x 40', belfry on the gable and one bell. Church painted white. First settled clergy Rev. Leaphart, tenure 1897-1900.

Mt. Pilgrim(1870) Richland County

2 mi N.E. of Wilson Mills

First was a brush arbor then two frame churches. In 1890, Members pulled out of Old Zion and built a log church on 2 acres of land given by Ben Simpson, a lover of his church. The building was only a log house 20'x 30', seating 150. Charter members 12. First settled clergy was Johnson Simpson, tenure 1890-1900. Education unknown. 1910 the old log building was torn down and a nice frame building was built in its place. It is 40'x 50', painted outside and inside, white, homemade pews, bell & belfry, two doors in front, no special features, cemetery is near. There seems scarcely any records until 1900, only by memory of the members.

Mt Zion Negro Baptist(1889) Richland County

4 mi E. Eastover County Road near Hwy. #26

Organized 1889. First building was a frame building. In 1876 services began there under a bush harbor. 1877 members came there from Red Hill (3M.W.) and a church was built on an acre plot. Charter members 15. Frank Gunter was first pastor 1877-1880. This church was burned 1880 and 1881 scarcely any lapse in service; another one was erected & dedicated. It was a frame building 40' x 50', has a perch and belfry on gable, rough pews, church painted white, a cemetery. Present building was dedicated in 1915, rectangular building 40' x 60', painted white, porch and belfry on the gable and one bell. First settled clergy Spencer Adams, tenure 1889-1894.

Mt. Zion(1880) Richland County

5 mi w. of Blythwood on country road

Organized in 1880. First church was a frame building. Rebuilt in 1911. A rectangular frame building, no porch, a belfry on one corner and one bell. A gallery across front of exterior, lit by four small windows. The first settled clergy was Rev. John Williams, tenure 1880-1884.

Oak Grove Settlement Richland County

By 1870 a substantial black settlement had developed in this area of the Dutch Fork Township, known as Oak Grove. Prominent in its history have been the families of Octavius Bookman, Miles Bowman, Henry Corley, Moses Geiger, and John Richardson. A number of their descendants still live in the area.

Piney Grove Negro Baptist(1890) Richland County

10 N. Eastover

Organized 1890; on one acre of land donated by Thomas Campbell. The church was organized by people who brought their membership from McDraw Church to make it more centralized for their community. In 1890 there were about 30 charter members. There has been no lapse. Dedicated. The first resident pastor was Ishaw Owden; tenure 1890-1896. Educational background poor. There was no previous building, the present one is a frame building 40'x 50', painted white-though worn badly having a belfry on gable, with a bell in tact. Church will seat 200. A cemetery is near. This information came from the pastor , clerk and a aged minister who lives near and remember all about the history of the church, he was their pastor for several years.

Pleasant Grove (1916) Richland County

6 mi. SE Hopkins Highway 48

Organized 1916. Built in 1916. A large unpainted rectangular frame building. A porch across the front with four high columns, an octagonal belfry painted white and green. One bell. First settled clergy was Rev. Barber, his tenure 1916-1917. Educational background, grammar school, Hopkins, S.C. Minute books 1932 1 volume. Members and deaths were kept in the minute books.

Randolph Cemetery Richland County

Elmwood Ave next to Elmwood Cemetery

In 1871 Nineteen Black, men founded the cemetery as a memorial to fellow African American Benjamin F. Randolph. Benjamin F. Randolph was a Methodist minister and Reconstruction era Republican Legislator. Ernest L. Wiggins, Staffwriter for the Columbia newspaper "The State" writes that in 1868, resentful whites began gunning for blacks who attempted to campaign for public office. While seeking re-election, Randolph was warned to stay out of Abbeville County, but he rode the rails into Abbeville on October 16, 1868. As he emerged from the train, in Hodges Depot, he was ambushed by three white men and killed. Randolph Cemetery is a Historical Cultural Treasure of National Significance. It holds the remains of nine Black Legislators from the Reconstruction Era. Charles M. Wilder, first black Postmaster of Columbia, Henry Cardoza, Fabriel Myers, William B, Nash, R. J. Palmer, William H. Simmons, Samuel Thompson, Lucious Winbush, also the first black Physicians, Veterans of Wars Abroad, President of Allen University, and many others.

Red Hill Baptist Church(1870) Richland County

On a County Road

Organized in 1870. First church was a brush Arbor, second a small frame building. Church was rebuilt 1910. A very large rectangular building 57' by 45' with gallery across the front; porch going up above the gallery porch with gable and tall columns. First settled clergy was Rev. Robert Jenkins. His tenure 1879-1905. Records:1 volume containing members 1929-1937, 1 register containing members deaths 1929. Has neat pews and chairs on the platform.

Siloam A.M.E.(1882) Richland County

3 mi. N.E. Eastover on country road between Hwy. #76 & 26

Organized 1882. First Church built 1882 on land given by Bob Cotton a level Christian. It was a frame building, with very little fixtures. The first settled clergy May Bracy-educational background unknown. Tenure about 4 years. The old church burned 1917 and all previous records with it-so memory of old people is all we have. The new one was built and dedicated 1917. It is a frame building 30' by 40' unpainted, home made seats 200. Having a belfry and a bell. No special features, cemetery near. Pastor G.C. Harris 1917-1919 common school education. Charter member 14. Pastor L.G. Bowman, Eastover he has a fair education, tenure 1936-1938.

St. James A.M.E.(1927) Richland County

St. John Negro Baptist(1908) Richland County

Asylum Road

Date organized 1908. Dedicated 1908, built in 1908. Architecture; corner stone St. John Baptist Church erected 1908 Z. E. Dennis Pastor. St. John Baptist church remodeled 1922 Rev. L. C. Johnson AB Pastor H. Sammons, CE Bailey; D.I. Stroman? Trustees. Rectangular brick. First settled clergyman Rev. Z.E. Dennis-Tenure 1908-1919. Educational background unknown. Church on a high foundation. A tower on each front corner, one belfry and one bell only land. Churches seating capacity 300. There was no Negro Baptist church in this part of Columbia and Rev. Z.E. Dennis seeing the need of one organized St. Johns

St. John's(1911) Richland County


Organized 1911. Built in 1911. A very large rectangular building 80' by 50', belfry on one corner and a bell. First settled clergy was Rev. B. Allston, tenure 1911-1915. Educational background Grammar school Hopkins, S.C. Minutes book 1935-- 1 volume.

St Louis A.M.E.(1888) Richland County

Wateree Hwy. 26 4 mi E. Eastover

Organized 1908. No previous building. Dedicated in 1908. An unpainted rectangular frame building,40' x 50', a belfry at one corner and one bell, home made pews, no special features. It is placed on a 2 acre plot bought by the church, a cemetery is near. First settled clergy C.B. Lorril (Lorey)?, tenure 1888-1894 (1908-1910)?. Educational background Grammar School Richland County.

St. Paul Negro Baptist(1910) Richland County

Highway #48 2 mi w. Gadsden

Organized 1910. Built and dedicated 1910. Unpainted rectangular frame building 40'x 50', octagonal belfry built from ground in middle of front no bell. A gallery across the front lit by an upper row of windows in front. Rough benches. First settled clergy Rev. A. Rollis, tenure 1910-1912.

St. Phillips(1880) Richland County

3 mi S.E. Eastover

Organized in 1880. First building was a log house. Next was a rectangular frame building painted white, belfry on the gable and one bell, two front doors 50' by 35'. First settled clergy was Rev. G. W. Young, his tenure 1880-1890. Register books were in the possession of Rev. Bowman, Eastover. 1911-1922, 2 volumes baptisms, marriages and member deaths.

Stover Chapel(1913) Richland County

Booker T Heights

Organized 1913. First church a frame building erected in 1913 burned in 1918, another church built in 1918 razed in 1928 to build a better and good lumber used. Present building dedicated 1928. Rectangular frame building 50'x30', belfry on one corner and one bell. Seating capacity 300. Situated on 3 acres of land including a cemetery. First settled clergy Rev. John Boyd, tenure 1913-1915. Educational background, grammar school Richland County. A number of negroes settled in Booker T Heights and wanted a church in their community so organized . A woman named Stover gave the land so the church was called Stover Chapel. The membership was 105.

St. Thomas Protestant Episcopal1870 (1885) Richland County

N.E. Eastover

Organized 1870 on a 6 acre plot given by Rev. T. B. Clarkson a lover of the Lords cause. Begun as a S.S. for negro children under a maple tree by Mr. T.B. Clarkson, they soon moved into a school house. It was first called Saul's Chapel (1870) because a Mr. Sauls of Philadelphia gave money to erect a small frame church. It was a frame building 30'x 40', unpainted home made seats, seating 200. No special features. A bell on a frame near the church. First pastor T. B. Clarkson, tenure 1870-1899. He was a S.C. College graduate and studied Theology. A negro priest held services once a month. 22 charter members. In 1891 the church burned and was rebuilt, modified gothic with tower, bell, with open vaulted ceiling in 1892 with no lapse in services being held in another building. The name was changed and the new church called "St. Thomas". On the lot is school taught by the missionary Miss Julia L. Clarkson. The pastor as of this history was J. R. Elliott, Columbia, graduate of Charleston College, tenure 1930-1938.

Taylor Chapel A.M.E.(1870) Richland County

Blythwood 4 mi from Highway 215

Organized 1870. First settled clergy Rev. James Taylor, tenure 1870-1876.

Temple Zion Baptist Church (1905) Richland County

Founded in the year 1905 by Z. Pickett, G. Pickett. Relocated 1940, renovated May 17, 1961.

Zion Canaan Negro Baptist1896 Richland County

State Park

Date organized 1896. The first church was erected in 1896 was a frame building razed because dilapidated and new frame built in Apr. 17, 1917, razed in 1932 and any good lumber used. Present building dedicated 1932. Corner stones "Zion Canaan Baptist Church rebuilt 1932. Rev A. P. Pastor, Deacon W.M. Adams, Church clerk J. Anderson, treasurer W.L. Griffen, G.W. Butler, J. Boykin, M. W. Cooper builder," Zion Canaan. A red brick building 65' x 45' a square tower at each front corner one much taller by the belfry. One bell. The nearest Baptist church was Columbia and that was so far to go, so the negro Baptist in this community organized Zion Canaan.

Zion Chapel Negro Baptist1865 Richland County

Winnsboro Road

Organized 1865. First was a brush arbor then a log church erected 1865 used until 1884 when a frame church was erected razed in 1916 and any good lumber used. Dedicated in 1916. Corner stone Zion Chapel Baptist Church founded 1865 Rev J. P. Taylor pastor rebuilt 11916 Rev T. H. Meneil Pastor. Frame building shape letter T 50' x 40'. Belfry on one corner and one bell. First settled clergy Rev. Joseph P. Taylor tenure 1865-1885. Educational background very little education. Gallery across the front, lit by an upper row of windows. 4 acres of land including a cemetery. After the war between the states the negro members of Sandy Level Baptist Church withdrew and organized Zion Chapel.

Zion Pilgrim Negro Baptist(1879) Richland County


Organized 1879. First church a frame building was burned in 1889. Building dedicated 1890. Large rectangular frame church 60'x40', painted white. Two square belfries at front corners, 2 doors. First settled clergy S.C. White, tenure 1879-1892.



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