When Steep Bottom Baptist Church, Estill, realized their 200th anniversary was rapidly approaching, Ernie Avant, the pastor, decided he needed to do more research into his church’s history. Deciding where to start can be intimidating for a church that old, but he began by talking with a friend who loves to research church histories. They called Historical Services at the SC Baptist Convention and set a time to visit and examine our resources. They were delighted with the available material and spent a very productive day exploring Steep Bottom’s rich past.
They were able to use resources which are available for all Convention churches. These include:
SCBC annuals from 1821 to the present
The Baptist Courier, on microfilm and hardbound, 1869 to the present
Association minutes on microfilm of associations created before 1900
Biographical information on pastors
Other reference books related to South Carolina and Baptist history
One of the many benefits of exploring your church’s past includes the joy of seeing how God has used the church over the years. The number of baptisms studied over a period of years reveals a lot about the health of the church and its understanding of its purpose. It’s possible to find the number of “scholars” in Sunday School, the number of books in the library as well as the pastor’s salary and value of the church property.
Start your journey of discovery. Call Historical Services, 803.765.0030.