Welsh Neck Baptist Church has long history

Welsh Neck Baptist Church, second oldest Baptist church in South Carolina, located in Society Hill. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

In 1701, a group of immigrants previously constituted into a church, left Wales and settled in Lower Dublin, Pennsylvania, moving within two years to Delaware where they established Welsh Tract Church. In 1737, thirty individuals removed to take up lands along the Great Pee Dee River known as the Welsh Tract, an iducement by the Crown to promote settlement of the S.C. interior as a buffer for the coastal settlements against the Indians, and for protection in case of a slave rebellion. In 1738, they constituted Welsh Neck Church, now the second oldest Baptist church in S.C., second to that in Charleston.
The original building on the east side of the river was abandoned in 1798 for a new meetinghouse on the current site, on the higher lands west of the river. This was replaced in 1843 by a large beautiful building, and materials from the 1798 church were used to construct the spring-fed baptistry that is still in use. The 1843 structure burned during a great storm on July 54, 1928. Slowed by the Great Depression, the current structure with its Pilcher organ was not completed until ten years later. Memorial Hall was built as a result of a bequest from Miss Luisa E. McIntosh in which social meetings and prayer meetings mighjt be more conveniently held. It has been little changed over the past century. On the grounds near this building is a benchmark from the 1934 U.S. Geological Survey.
— Materials supplied by
Brian Gandy, Director,
Darlington County Historical Commission

Author: Stephan Drew

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