How does state and national history impact a church? William Caldwell, a senior at North Greenville University, is studying how societal changes, including the Civil War and its aftermath, affected Padgett’s Creek, Union, from 1850-1874. William’s connection to the church is his grandfather, Carrol Caldwell, who currently serves as pastor.
This project will be William’s Senior Thesis and so far, he has discovered more questions than answers. The church lost half its members during this period and he hopes to discover what caused the change. It might be members moving to the western frontier, an increase in other area churches or people simply forsaking the church. He says he has gained an appreciation of the Southern Baptist way of doing things in the process.
William sums up his work this way. “If something happened during this period that caused this large loss in membership, perhaps it can be studied and learned from and a similar event in our lifetime can be prevented. This research will also serve as a testament to the resiliency of the members of Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church and by viewing the many trials and hardships they faced during this period, give us a greater appreciation for our own churches today.”
Begun in 1784, the church celebrates its 230th anniversary this year. William’s research will help the church understand its past and build for the future. Your church has a story as well. Contact Historical Services for assistance in exploring your church’s past.