“You’re going to do something good for our church,” a fellow member of Pleasant Hill Church, Hemingway, told Neville Cribb. “I dreamed about it last night.”
“What am I going to do?” he asked. “I don’t know, I just know that you are going to do something good,’” Marie Howard replied.
Cribb thought about the comment for months before several questions arose when the church celebrated Homecoming. What and where is the history of our church? A fire in 1952 destroyed the church and all their records. He wondered if this is what he was supposed to do.
Cribb, a retired farm service agent, began reading old issues of The Georgetown Times at the library, looking for any mention of his church. He searched Southeast Baptist Association Minutes, the Furman University Baptist Historical Collection and began to see some progress but it was too big a task for one person. As the fiftieth anniversary of the church fire approached in February 2002, he knew he needed help.
He needed to find old pictures and interview people who had been members around the time of the fire. He wanted to learn as much history as he could so the church could commemorate how they had moved on after the tragic event.
Cribb recruited the “Young at Heart” group. He knew these retired members could be a tremendous help. He organized them to read the South Carolina Baptist Convention Annuals and other materials for any mention of the church. By the time of the anniversary celebration, the church had rediscovered its history and erected a permanent marker in the church cemetery.
Following the anniversary program, the church established a History Committee. Cribb serves on this committee and continues to ask questions. “How did the cemetery come into being? What hymnals did our church use through the years?” Every answer brings about new questions to research.
“I continue to be amazed how a dream with so few words has touched so many people,” Cribb said. He chuckles that God does indeed work in mysterious ways. His response to the dream enabled Pleasant Hill congregation to celebrate God’s sustaining grace through a very difficult time and into their future.