Coosawhatchie Baptist Church
Beech Branch Baptist Church
S-3-374 & S-3-104,
Signficant Architectural Features:
original structure - simple meeting house design with gable roof. Original entrances were located on S. E. and W sides; S door was used only by the black members of the church, the E & W doors by the white members; the latter doorways, replaced by windows were located 2/3rds down the E& W sides toward the north. Present main entry area, located on the N. side, features a central Palladian window flanked on either side by a 3-panel door; pedimented portico and brick steps on N side were added in 1959 when weekly morning services were started. Rear (S) entrance: single door; awning & brick steps were added. All windows are stained glass (not original); shutters have been removed. Shiplap addition on W. side. Spire has been added. Interior: walls & floors have been replaced; furniture arrangement, changed. OUTBUILDINGS: none
Major architectural alterations - see description
Founded Sept. 12, 1759, with 19 members, Beech Branch Baptist Church (originally the Coosawatchie Baptist Church) is the oldest organized church in Allendale Co. and the 8th "Particular" or "Separate" Baptist church formed in S. C. From this congregation, a number of Baptist churches in the Low Country began. The present church building has served the congregation continuously since its construction ca. 1815. The church had black members, generally slaves of white members. In 1857, the black membership was so large that 2 were named assistant deacons to the white deacons. Their duties included monitoring over the black members and assisting the deacons with the observance of the Lord's Supper. By 1870, the black membership began to withdraw and form their own church. By 1900, it is thought that the last had been dismissed.
Source of Historical Information:
National Register nomination, prepared in 1975.
Allendale County, 1979-1980
Box 13, Series 108042, Survey of historic resources (county by county data on surface properties), circa 1971-2014