Church History

In the summer of 1932, Mrs. William Seabrook, observing the need for the study of God's word in a small remote section of Johns Island, secured the use of an old store building from a Jewish man, Mr. Barshay. This old store was located on the south end of River Road. She organized a little Sunday School with Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Prescott and others taking an active part.

Sometime later in the summer, Rev. O.M. Howe of Charleston, learning of this noble work, offered his services to the Sunday School group. Consequently, Rev. Howe, a Baptist preacher, preached the first sermon in an Orthodox Jewish store building.

C.J. Glover and his wife, the Mrs. Laura F. Glover, were informed about the work and became very interested.

In November 1932, Mrs. Seabrook, a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, at the suggestion of Rev. Howe, gained unanimous permission from the rector, Rev. McCallum, from the Vestry, and from their bishop, Rev. Albert Thomas, for the Baptists to have the use of the St. John’s Episcopal Church. Services were weld twice each month in the afternoon.

Plans were made to organize into a Baptist Church. Mr. Julius C. Seabrook, a Johns Island merchant and a Presbyterian, gave an acre of land to the group. A few Sundays later, sixty dollars towards a building fund was raised in a worship service.

Led by the Spirit, Rev. Howe and C.J. Glover called upon Mr. Peter B. Bradley of Bulow Mines to help the church secure the necessary lumber for a small building. Through prayer and perseverance, the lumber was obtained from Mr. Bradley at a cost of $5.00 per thousand board feet.

One of the greatest donations was made by two Black carpenters who constructed a 40 x 30-foot building and made all the necessary furniture – for $60. They, along with C.J. Glover began and ended this project by kneeling in prayer.

The First Baptist Church of Johns Island was organized on December 1, 19932, in the St Johns Episcopal Church with the following present: Rev. Jesse Bailey, Rutledge Avenue Church; Rev. James Williams, Hampton Park Church; Rev. David Purser, Citadel Square Church; and Rev. Z.T. Hamilton.

The following became Charger members: Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Koger, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Prescott, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Seabrook, Rev. and Mrs. O.M. Howe, Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Glover, Mrs. Laura  Sauls Zorn, Mrs. Mary Sauls Cates, Mrs. Charles Jones, Mr. and Mrs. D.T. Gatch, and Mrs. Annie Ballentine Mazzell.

The first revival was held in April 1933, led by Rev. Clyde Lanier of Virginia. Fourteen members were received by letter and twelve by profession of faith. The church building was completed the first week in July 1933, and was dedicated a short time thereafter. Rev. Jesse Bailey delivered the Dedication Sermon.