Sumter County Histories
Taken from the Inventory of Church Archives of Churches 1935
Bethel (A.M.E.) 1910 Sumter County
Organized 1910 by members from the A.M.E. church in Sumter who thought they wanted a Reformed M.E. Church, with 120 members and Rev. William Mickens as pastor 1910-12. A retangular frame building was erected. It proved too small and was razed 1918 to rebuild a larger church. In 1912 it changed back to A.M.E. Church. The present building, a frame 42 x 60, towers on each side, arched windows--all windows have names of donors on them. Capacity 400, erected 1918 and dedicated 1919. No cemetery.
Bethesda (Negro Baptist) 1879 Sumter County
Organized 1879 with Rev. A.A. Gilbert as pastor, 1879-1881. A frame church 24 x 36, capacity 200, home made pews, cloth pinned on wall, "Memorial to Rev. Nehemiah Mahoney". Completed 1897 and dedicated 1890. No cemetery.
Beulah A.M.E. 1888 Sumter County
Organized 1888 with approximately 35 members, Rev J. S. Johnson as pastor, 1888-1890. A building was erected 1888, and added to 1923, and is being repaired 1938.
Congruity Pres. U. S. A. Sumter County
Organized 1869 as a bush arbor by Rev. W. R. Miller, a leader in organizing the negroes in this section after the war between the states with the negro members from Concord Pres. Small rectangular frame dedicated the same year. Razed 1910 to give place to the present church and consecrated 1911. Rectangular straight tower from the ground up, on the left hand side beamed ceiling, excellent condition. 32 x 60, capacity 350, value $3000 no manse, small cemetery. First settled clergy, Rev. W. R. Miller, tenure 1869-1874. Educational background, was from the North, unknown. Membership in 1936 was 195. A bible in the church has the following, "presented to Congruity Presbyterian Church by Hon. Thomas B. Johnston, member of the South Carolina Legislature from Sumter County in 1894. I vol. minutes of Christian Endeavor 1901-1912, also members collections. W. R. Miller also organized Good Will, Ebenezer, Congruity and Melina. Records were in the home of H. T. Gregg, by church
Ebenezer Presbyterian U.S.A. 1867 Sumter County
Organized 1867 by Rev. W.R. Miller and a missionary teacher from Pa. in a small house near where the church now stands. Rev. Millier was pastor for one year, 1867. Mr. ------- a large landowner on whose place the church was organized gave--- acres to his ex-slaves for a church and a burying ground.
Ebenezer (A.M.E.) 1882 Sumter County
Organized 1882 with 29 members, under the leadership of Rev. Ivory Johnson, pastor 1882-1884. A frame building 32 x 60 square tower at left, capacity 300.
Elizabeth (M.E.) 1910 Sumter County
Organized in 1920 with 8 members to fill the need of a M.E. church in the community. Rev. Thomas Sims was pastor 1910-1912. He was very old at the time and no one could give information as to educational background. A small cemetery is on the 1\2 acre lot. No parsonage.
Galilee (Negro Baptist) 1890 Sumter County
Organized 1890 under the leadership of Rev. A.J. Johnson pastor 1890-1903, with 17 members who desired a church in their neighborhood. A rectangular frame building, 32 x 48, square tower from the ground in front, capacity 300, erected and dedicated 1890. There is no parsonage and no cemetery.
Goodwill (Negro Baptist Episcopal) 1869 Sumter County
Organized 1869, after the war between the states, ex-slaves from St Marks (upper) were given a plot and a church built for them. It is 15 x 30 has tower from ground at right side, capacity 75. Consecrated 1870. A graveyard is at the back. Lot is 1/2 acre. There has never been a settled clergyman, services were always being conducted by the rector from St Marks or from Sumter. The name "Goodwill" was chosen to show the feeling for the church where they had always worshipped with their master.
Grant Hill (Negro Baptist) 1868 Sumter County
Black River Road
Organized 1868 on the James Estate, with 120 members most possibly from a church known as Tenon, at Bracy Mill, under a brush arbor, with Rev. J. Capers---uneducated---pastor 1868-1873. In 1873, the organization moved to the present site and erected a log cabin on a lot given by Scipio Grant. It was known as the church. This building was razed 1887. At this time the name was changed to Grant Hill in honor of the donor of the lot. 2 acre cemetery.
High Hills AME Sumter County
Meeting House Road
Organized 1878 by the negroes living in the vicinity of High Hills of the Santee (S.B.C.) and members of this church during slavery, and named for the parent church. The Bishop came and divided the negroe members into two parts, calling one part Methodists and the other part Baptist. There were approximately 200 in each group. Rev. Sam Williams was pastor 1868-1871. A frame building was erected across the road from where the present church now is. It was razed 1910.
High Hills (Negro Baptist) Sumter County
After the war between the states, the negro members were seperated from the whites and churches organized for them. In 1868 200 members from High Hills S.B.C. organized and named their church for the mother church. A cruciform building, 40 x 40, extentions 20 x 20 , capacity 44, terraced tower in front corner, no memorials, ceiling in entry much higher than other part, opera chairs, large cemetery at rear. Dedicated 1870. Rev Isaach Dixon was pastor 1868-1882.
Hopewell (Negro Baptist) 1873 Sumter County
5 mi W Dalzell, to left of Hill Crest School
Organized in 1873 with 30 members as the result of a split in High Hills church over a preacher, Rev January Capers as pastor, 1873-1879. A frame building 30 x 60 square tower at front, extention at rear for pulpit, 2 small rooms on side of pulpit, capacity 300. Cemetery at sides and across rear of parsonage.
Joshua (Negro Baptist) 1887 Sumter County
6 mi N. Dalzell, Spring Hill Road
Organized 1887 by 25 members from Grant Hill when a quarrel arose over the title to the land on which that church was standing. Rev. S. P. Taylor was the leader--pastor 1887-1907. The members were of the Dees and the Jefferson families. Cemetery at side.
Mt. Moriah (Negro Baptist) 1869 Sumter County
Organized 1869 by an ex-slave known as "Holmes" as he desired a place for his race to worship , with approximately 21 members, meeting under a brush arbor. A frame building 24 x 36, roof extending to form porch, not floored, left hand end porch enclosed for a bell tower, capacity 250. Completed in 1869 and dedicated 1870. Holmes was pastor 1869-1875.
Mt Olive A.M.E. Sumter County
Organized in 1902, under a brush arbor till 1905 when a small rectangular church was built. This was torn down 1917 and rebuilt, dedicated or consecrated 1917. No cemetery. Isabelle Johnson was the clerk.
Mt Pisgah (Negro Baptist) 1866 Sumter County
2 mi S Rembert US Rt 521
Organized 1866 with 12 members from the old Swift Creek Baptist Church near Boykin, S.C. under the leadership of Rev Boykin--pastor 1866-1872, near where they had lived as slaves. It was known as "Chalk Hill" till 1896 when the name was changed. A large cemetery surrounds the church.
Mt. Zion (Negro Baptist) 1900 Sumter County
Organized 1900 when 39 members withdrew from First Baptist to organize a church for themselves, with Rev. E. C. Conyers, a graduate of Morris College, 1898, as pastor 1900-1923. A small frame building 32 x 60, capacity 300. No cemetery, no parsonage.
New Bethel (Negro Baptist) Sumter County
Organized 1880 with 29 members. Rev. A.J. Johnson was pastor 1880-1890. A small rectangular frame building was erected about 4 back from the highway. It burned 1925, and the organization decided to purchase a lot on the road. A frame building 30 x 60, low tower from the ground on right high tower from the ground, bell on left; homemade pews, capacity 250. No cemetery.
Orange Hill (A.M.E.) 1866 Sumter County
Us Rt 261 across from Poinsette Park
Organized 1866 with approximately 79 members by negroes who had been freed and wanted a church of their own, with Rev. E. H. Allen pastor 1866-1868. A frame building was erected 1866 and was moved back on the lot 1917 to give place for a new church. There is a neighborhood cemetery as well as a small plot around the church.
Queen's Chapel (A.M.E.Mission) 1867 Sumter County
Organized 1867 under the leadership of Jim Morris, uneducated paster 1867-1870. A frame building 24 x 32, square tower from the ground, piazza on each side of tower, capacity 200. Completed 1867 and dedicated1872. No cemetery. This was a mission served by Rev. David Johnson.
Sheperd (M.E. Negro) 1908 Sumter County
7 mi N. Sumter US #15
Organized 1908 under a brush arbor with 31 members under the leadership of Rev. Sip Horry, pastor 1908-1910. In 1912 a small building was erected. In 1927 it was moved across the road and renovated. A small cemetery is at the side.
St James (A.M.E.) 1890 Sumter County
Organized 1890 by Jefferson James who desired as church in which to preach. He pastored 1890-1892. (He was never ordained). He found 9 methodists to join him. A small rectangular frame building was erected 1890, and torn down 1915 as it proved too small. The present church, cruciform 24 x 24, capacity 250, open tower, was completed 1915. No cemetery. Bibliography: Jefferson James. Legend says a church was on this spot in "Slavery Times", nothing could be found to establish the fact.
St James (A.M.E.) 1917 Sumter County
A building was completed at once. It burned in 1932. Rev. A. J. Jenkins pastor 1917-1934, is considered the father of the church as it grew and prospered under him. The present building, frame 40 x 60, tower supported by two round columns from the ground, the height of a story, with porch under it. When it was dedicated the name was changed to Union Station, as they had hoped to fuse with S--- and Pine Hill. This failed. A slab is on the wall Cornelia Ballard.
St John's (Negro Baptist) 1899 Sumter County
Organized 1899 with 19 members who desired a church in the village, Rev. J. P. Garrick was its pastor, 1899-1910. They met in various empty houses until a building rectangulat frame was completed 1902. It was razed and rebuilt furthur north on the same street, 1917. No cemetery. Records...United Order of Abraham and Daughters of Sarah. Bibliography...cornerstone.
St Mark's Protestant Episcopal 1757
An acre was consecrated as a cemetery in 1878; it is enclosed with a neat iron fence. There are graves of many illustrious South Carolinians and their Slaves.
St Paul's (A.M.E.) 1866 Sumter County
5 mi. E. Sumter on Black River Road
Organized by ex-slaves 1866 under the leadership of Rev. E. Blake, pastor 1866-1868 under a brush arbor. A frame building was erected 1867 but torn down 1913 when the organization moved 1 mi. nearer Sumter. Was completed 1913 and dedicated 1914. The lot also contains a 2 acre cemetery.
(Shiloh) First Baptist (Negro Baptist) 1868 Sumter County
Organized 1868 by Rev. Paul Grantnam as "Shiloh" and a small rectangular frame building was erected on S. Main street with Rev. B. Lawson as pastor, 1868-1872. The same congregation, calling themselves "The First Baptist" bought the building and moved it to the present site., 1908. It was torn down 1910, and the present rectangular brick, modified Gothic building begun. A memorial window, "In memory of Paul Grantnam by his grandson, C. A. Lawson". Other windows bear names of donors.
Stone Hill (A.M.E.) 1880 Sumter County
E. Newberry Street
Organized 1880 with 3 members on the plantation of the Nelson family and named "Nelson Chapel". In 1898 most of the members withdrew and joined the Presbyterian Church. The remnant razed the church and rebuilt it nearer the road and on the Woods plantation, changing the name to "Woods Chapel". In 1916 this was abandoned and the congregation moved into Sumter and erected the present church, and again changed the name. It is called Stone Hill for a rural of that name. There is no cemetery.
Wayman Chapel A.M.E. 1865 Sumter County
US Rt #261
Organized 1865 by Rev. C. B. Brown. The church was blown down in 1884 and rebuilt with a cemetery on a 3 acre lot. Clerk:Jake Johnson. Present membership 650.
Union Baptist (Negro Baptist) 1870 Sumter County
4 mi. E. Rembert
Organized 1870 by approximately 17 members from Swift Creek Baptist Church, meeting under a brush arbor, and with Rev. Simon Taylor and pastor 1870-1880. A small frame building was completed 1870 and used until 1877. Another small frame building erected 1877, burned 1910. Graveyard on the 4 acre lot.
Web Author: EE Vaughn
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