Our Story

The South Carolina Baptist Convention is here because generations of men and women were faithful to the visions God gave them for their community and their state.

Where there is no vision, the people fall away.

Proverbs 29:18


William Screven of Kittery, Maine, uproots his small congregation and moves to South Carolina. They become First Baptist Church of Charleston, the first Baptist church in the South.


Oliver Hart, pastor of First Baptist Church of Charleston, has a vision of churches coming together to bring the Gospel to pioneers and Native Americans. The Charleston Baptist Association, the South's first cooperative association, was born.


Philip Mulkey, a Separate Baptist, moves from North Carolina to South Carolina to start new churches. These "New Lights," as they were called, spread across the Upstate, starting churches in many communities.


Richard Furman joined Oliver Hart in Charleston to petition for religious freedom from the Anglican Church. After the war, Furman's vision for missions and education led to a love for foreign missions and educational opportunities for pastors.


Hepzibah Jenkins Townsend created the first women's missions organization in the South. The Wadmalaw and Edisto Female Mite Society baked bread to raise money for foreign missions already supported by Furman.


Furman's vision for statewide cooperation between churches led to a convention plan, pulling three state associations together. That year, the South Carolina Baptist Convention was organized at First Baptist Church, Columbia. It was the first Baptist convention in the South.


William Bullein Johnson, who was present at SCBC's organization, attended a convention to discuss a cooperative organization of Baptist churches in the South. The vision gained support, and Johnson became the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention.


A group of women, led, in part, by Martha McIntosh, wanted to organize missionary and mite societies into a statewide women's missions organization. Their efforts launched the Central Committee of the Baptist Woman's Missions Societies (Woman's Missionary Union) at Welsh Neck Baptist Church in Society Hill.

Since these early visionaries, generations of South Carolinians have continued their legacy, bringing Baptists together to create:

  • colleges and universities,
  • retirement centers,
  • a multi-use conference center,
  • a children's home,
  • a foundation,
  • a statewide Baptist newspaper,
  • resort ministries,
  • camps for boys and girls,
  • missions partnerships,
  • and innovative programs and strategies for church growth.

In recent years, as Baptists began focusing on local churches reaching unsaved and unchurched people, the South Carolina Baptist Convention shifted, too.

In 1992, SCBC took landmark steps to re-establish itself as a service organization for its churches, pledging to intentionally serve churches based on their ministries' needs and vision. That commitment remains in place today.

Learning from our past to serve faithfully in the future webinar


History Committee Survey

To help preserve and tell the story of God’s work among SCBC churches, we would appreciate you taking a moment to complete a brief survey. This will allow us to understand how we can help your church.
Name of Person Completing Survey(Required)
Church Address(Required)
Does your church have a church historian or someone who oversees your church’s historical documents?(Required)
If answered no, would you like more information on how to designate a church historian?
Does your church have a written history?(Required)
If answered yes, would your church be willing to share a copy of its history with us?(Required)
Does your church maintain copies of church minutes?(Required)
If answered yes, would your church be willing to share a copy of them with us?(Required)
6. Would your church be interested in workshops related to preserving it’s historical documents or how to tell others about God’s work within it?(Required)