Historical Sketch of Zion Mount Moriah Baptist Church

Zion Mount Moriah Baptist Church was organized in 1877. Most of the original 63 charter members withdrew from New Zion Benevolent and New Light Beulah Baptist Churches. The church was organized for the convenience of African Americans living in the vicinity of Log Castle, Adams Bluff, Meeting House and Dry Branch Plantations. The charter members included individuals from the Bailey, Belton, Bolton, Boyd, Burns, Edward, Goodwin, Green, Harris, Hopkins, Howell, Jacobs, Johnson, Jones, Moye and Sumter families.

The church called Simon Jenkins to serve as its first pastor. Prior to being called as pastor, brother Jenkins was a charter member and served as a Deacon at New Light Beulah Baptist beginning in 1867. Three years prior to being ordained as pastor of Zion Mount Moriah Reverend Jenkins had been elected as one of three Richland County Commissioners in 1874. Additionally, Reverend Jenkins was a local merchant selling groceries and farm supplies. Pastor Jenkins was born to John and Janie Tucker Jenkins in 1834 on the Grovewood Plantation owned by Mr. William Weston.

Zion Mount Moriah Baptist was organized during a turbulent period of time for African Americans. Just one year prior to being organized disenfranchised white South Carolina waged a massive campaign to retake control of the state government. This campaign was so intense, that it lead to the assassination of Deacon Alfred Rush of the Savannah Grove Baptist Church, Effingham, S. C. Wade Hampton led this campaign with members called "Red Shirts" that included some African Americans. Many elected black officials were kick out of office including Reverend Jenkins during the election of 1876.

Following the results of the election, South Carolina African American Baptists were motivated to organize the Baptist Education and Missionary Convention of South Carolina in 1877, the same year that Zion Mount Moriah was organized. Zion Mount Moriah applied for membership to the Gethsemane Association, II Division (Pee Dee Association) during 1877 and was accepted making it an official member of the Baptist E & M Convention.

Immediately, after the church was organized seven men were called and ordained as deacons. Included in the deaconship were Pelham H. Jones, Robert Boyd, Scipio Green, Lewis S. Bailey, Samuel Johnson, Joseph Sumter, Sr. and James Bolton. Brother Newman Boyd, another former member of New Light Beulah, was elected as the church’s first clerk. Deacon Pelham Jones was elected as chairman of the deacons. Deacon Jones, Boyd and Johnson were former slaves on Robert Adams Bluff Plantation. Within two years after the church was organized under the leadership of the deacons, it was agreed to purchase land to build a sanctuary. The church purchased land in 1879 from fellow member and church trustee Wilson Sumter. Construction was initiated on the sanctuary in 1880. Prior to completion of the sanctuary, the church worshipped under a bush arbor.

Zion Mount Moriah’s Sunday School Department was organized in 1879. Deacon Pelham H. Jones was selected as the first Superintendent of the Sunday School. Eighteen members constituted the Sunday School during its first year. Brother Eli Belton was the first secretary of the Sunday School. The Sunday School adopted " Sunlight" as its official name.

Deacon Jones relinquished his role as superintendent during early 1880 to focus more attention to the construction of the sanctuary. Brother Paul H. Harris was elected as Superintendent in 1880. Brother Harris having been several years younger than Deacon Jones, got an opportunity to get more education from Adams Cut School, a Freedman Bureau school in the Weston community area. Brother Calvin H. Hopkins served as secretary. The Sunday School experienced very slow growth during its first couple of years. Rarely did Zion Mount Moriah send messengers to the Pee Dee Sunday School Convention.

Brother Newman Boyd, the church’s clerk moved to the Congaree Community in 1880. He resigned his post as Zion Mount Moriah’s church clerk and reaffiliated with New Light Beulah Baptist Church. Brother Paul H. Harris replaces him as church clerk. Brother Harris served as church clerk until the early 1900’s.

A convention of the churches dismissed from the Pee Dee Association at its eleventh annual session was held in the meeting house of the Shiloh Baptist Church, Bennettsville, S. C. commencing at 9:30 AM, October 29. 1881. Included among those churches was Zion Mount Moriah of Hopkins, S. C. Brother Benjamin Lawson was called to the chair and Brother Edward M. Brawley was requested to act as Secretary. The chairman after conducting devotional exercises for thirty minutes made an address and stated the object of the meeting, which was the organization of a new Association. An invitation was extended to all churches in good and regular standing, who desired to do so, to enroll their names. The names of forty-three churches and their messengers were accordingly enrolled. Zion Mount Moriah was the twenty fourth church enrolled with 104 members.

The following was adopted, on motion of Pastor Simon Jenkins: Resolved, That the churches who names have just been enrolled be, and are hereby, organized into a body to be known as the "Wateree Baptist Association". On motion of Brother Monroe Boykin, the constitution, rules of order and standing resolutions of the Pee Dee Association were adopted for the government of the Wateree Association.

Messengers representing Zion Mount Moriah during the first session of the Wateree Association in 1881 were Pastor Simon Jenkins and Brother Paul H. Harris. They contributed $3.00 from the church toward the expenses of the Wateree Association. Brother Harris reported that Zion Mount Moriah’s membership increased by 5 baptisms, 2 letters, and 5 restorations. However, the church also lost 3 by death and 5 by exclusion.

Pastor Jenkins was elected to the Executive Board of the Wateree Association in 1882. He was among three ministers from lower Richland elected to the Executive Board that included Reverends William Lowman and William W. Adams, then the dean of pastors from Richland County. The Executive Board admonished the ministers of the Wateree Association, that in building houses for the worship of God, that they pay more attention to durability and comfort: in their sacred fields of labor let their one desire and aim be to labor for the honor and glory of God, remembering that they are laborers together with Him. This admonishment was partly the result of Pastor Jenkins urging as Zion Mount Moriah neared completion of their sanctuary.

Reverend Jenkins assumed the pastorate of Shiloh Baptist Church, Weston, S. C. shortly after the death of its pastor, Rev. William W. Adam October 10, 1885. Reverend Jenkins pastored both Zion Mount Moriah and Shiloh in 1885. Zion Mount Moriah had 100 members and Shiloh had 62 members in 1885. During 1886, Reverend Jenkins resigned from both churches.

Zion Mount Moriah Baptist elected Reverend George Washington Taylor as their second pastor in 1886. The membership extended an one year contract to Reverend Taylor as pastor. With the change in pastor, the church elected to change Sunday School Superintendent and elected Deacon Pelham H. Jones for a second time. Eli Belton was again elected as Sunday School Secretary. The Sunday School had 3 teachers, 25 scholars and 25 books in its library during 1886.

Reverend George Washington Taylor’s one-year contract was not renewed in 1887. The church used supply ministers throughout the year. Reverend Oliver H. Hopkins, a former slave of Joel Adams, Jr. was eventually elected as pastor in late 1887. Reverend Oliver H. and Lucy Tucker Hopkins came to the church determined to work hard and move the church forward. Former schoolmate of the new pastor, Brother Paul H. Harris was re-elected Sunday School Superintendent for the year of 1887. The number of members in the Sunday School reached 35 in 1887.

Brother Hampton Jacobs was as elected Sunday School Superintendent in 1888. Ella Jones, the daughter of Deacon Pelham Jones, was elected to serve as Sunday School Secretary. The number of teachers had increased to 5 by 1888.

The church lost Deacon Louis Bailey to death in 1888. Shortly, thereafter Brothers Jerimy Belton, Paul Harris, Hampton Jacobs, Fed McCoy and Wilson Sumter were ordained as deacons. Support from the deacons was strong as Pastor Oliver Hopkins lead Zion Mount Moriah to greater heights. The church’s membership reached 121 by 1888.

Deacon Paul Harris was re-elected as Sunday School Superintendent by January of 1889. Calvin Hopkins, once again served as Sunday School Secretary. Pastor Oliver H. Hopkins was also elected to the Wateree Executive Board in 1889. Deacon Joseph Sumter, Sr. also died during the summer of 1889 within one year of Deacon’s Bailey death. Pastor Oliver H. Hopkins was called to another pastorate in 1889 and resigned in 1889.

Reverend Andrew Richbourg was called as Zion Mount Moriah’s fourth pastor in late 1889. Pastor Richbourg pastoral calling was for one year. During Pastor Richbourg tenure, Deacon Paul Harris served as both church clerk and Sunday School Superintendent. Deacon Hampton O. Jacobs served Sunday School Secretary. Reverend Richbourg was called to pastor St. Mark Baptist, Gadsden, S. C., ending his pastorate at Zion Mount Moriah in 1890. St. Mark Baptist’s former pastor Reverend Daniel Boyd was called to Zion Mount Moriah in a basic swap of pastors between the two churches.

Pastor Daniel Boyd being President of the Wateree Sunday School Convention prior to assuming the pastorate greatly encouraged the members of Zion Mount Moriah to participate in the Sunday School. Participants in the Sunday School increased by more than 20 scholars during Pastor Boyd’s first year. Brother Fed McCoy assumed the role as Sunday School Secretary in 1890.

Zion Mount Moriah Baptist sanctuary had been completed by 1890. Consequently, the pastor and church extended an invitation to the Wateree Association to convene at the church during its 1891 session. The Association accepted the invitation. The Wateree Baptist Association met in the eleventh annual session with the Zion Mount Moriah Baptist Church, Hopkins, S. C., October 16, 1891. The body was called to order by the Moderator, Reverend Monroe Boykin, who conducted devotional exercises, singing hymn 637 and reading Psalm 78 as a lesson. Rev. Paul Grantham led in prayer. During the Association the Sunday session, the church being too small to accommodate the large crowd present, services were held in an adjacent grove, the exercises being conducted by Reverend Stanley Rose, who preached from Isaiah 62:5. A collection of $5.20 was taken up. The Sunday evening session, after prayer by Brother Dow, a collection of $1.25 was taken up for the church. An extra collection was lifted for Deacon John Hopkins, of St. John Baptist, Hopkins, a blind man.

On motion of Reverend R. C. Dow a vote of thanks was tendered to the members of Zion Mount Moriah Baptist Church for their hospitable care of the delegates. Hymn 640 was sung, and during the singing of the hymn the parting hand was given, and benediction pronounced by Moderator Monroe Boykin.

The Wateree Association met at First Washington Baptist, Lancaster, S. C. during 1892 where it split into two different Associations. The churches of Richland, Kershaw and Lancaster Counties became the Wateree Association, Upper Division. Zion Mount Moriah was a charter member of the Wateree Association, Upper Division. Messengers representing the church in 1892 include Pastor Boyd and Deacon Harris.

An opportunity to minister to a larger church came to Pastor Daniel Boyd in late 1892. He accepted the call to pastor New Zion Benevolent and resigned as pastor of Zion Mount Moriah. Reverend Boyd’s replacement was Reverend William Lowman, the brother-in-law of Deacon Pelham H. Jones. Reverend Lowman’s wife Ellen was the younger sister of Deacon Pelham H. Jones. Reverend Lowman was a former slave of Robert Adams and a former member of the S. C. House of Representatives during Reconstruction. Reverend Lowman was reluctant to assume this pastorate since he was already pastoring St. John and St. Matthew Baptist Churches. Reverend Lowman resigned from St. John in 1893, allowing him to have more time pastoring St. Matthew and Zion Mount Moriah Baptist Churches. Reverend Lowman suffered from various illnesses during his pastorate and eventually resigned from the Zion Mount Moriah pastorate in 1894. Just prior to Pastor Lowman’s resignation in 1894, Deacon Jerimy Belton died.

The seventh pastor called by Zion Mount Moriah in 1895 was Reverend Spencer Adams, the son of Reverend William W. Adams, the first black Baptist minister in lower Richland County. In addition to serving the church as pastor, Reverend Adams was a long time schoolteacher in the area. During Reverend Adams pastorate, the number of members dropped slightly to around 100. The officers of the church remain the same during Reverend Adams tenure.

October 15, 1897, during the Wateree Association, U. D. the Reverend A. E. Butler, nominated for Assistant Clerk, Reverend Jesse W. Neal (ordained in 1897) and A. G. Goodson nominated Reverend Spencer H. Adams. Reverend J. W. Boykin and Oliver H. Hopkins were appointed tellers. Whole number of votes casted 42, Adams 35 and Neal 7. Adams was therefore declared elected.

Former Pastor Daniel Boyd died on January 19, 1897. A very beautiful tribute was paid to the memory of the late Reverend Daniel Boyd by Reverends William Lowman, Simon Jenkins, Seymore Jones, Spencer H. Adams, Oliver H. Hopkins, Aesop G. Goodson and Andrew Richbourg. All of the brethren spoke in the highest terms of Brother Boyd.

Former Pastor William Lowman died one year after former Pastor Daniel Boyd died in late 1898. Sunday, October 14, 1899 at 8 o’clock the body re-assembled to the memorial exercises of Reverend William Lowman, of Hopkins, S. C. Reverend Simon Jenkins lined hymn 940, Rev. Aesop G. Goodson read II Timothy 4th chapter. The following brother spoke on the occasion, viz: Reverends Oliver H. Hopkins, Andrew Richbourg, Aseop G. Goodson, Deacon Paul Sims, Reverends R. H. Humbert and Richard W. Jenkins.

Deacon Samuel Johnson was elected Sunday School Superintendent in 1897 during the pastorate of Reverend Spencer H. Adams. Brother Fred Jones was elected Sunday School Secretary. The number of Sunday School teachers dropped to 3 and the number of scholars dropped to 35. The Sunday School had 2 conversions.

Deacon Pelham Jones received his call to the ministry in 1899. Pastor Adams resigned during the earlier part of 1900 shortly after licensing Deacon Jones to preach.

Licentiate Jones was ordained April 9, 1900 as a minister. Reverend Jones was called as Zion Mount Moriah eighth pastor during 1900.

Deacon Hampton O. Jacobs was elected Superintendent in 1900. Deacon Hampton Jacobs served as Superintendent until 1903. Brother Fred Jones served as Secretary of Sunday School. The membership increased to 140.

Brother Paul Taylor was elected head of the Sunday School Department in 1903. Brother Peter Sumter was selected as Sunday School Secretary in 1903. Deacon Paul Harris continued to serve as church clerk continuously since 1880.

Several deacons and former pastor during the pastorate of Reverend Pelham Jones. Deacon Scipio Green died May 24, 1901. Former Pastor Simon Jenkins died May 23, 1906. He was funeralized at New Light Beulah. Former Pastor Spencer H. Adams died April 14, 1914. He was funeralized at New Zion Benevolent. Deacon Hampton O. Jacobs died February 26, 1915.

Reverend Pelham Jones pastorate ended shortly after the death of Deacon Jacobs when he resigned for health reason.

Reverend Harrison Gallman was called as Zion Mount Moriah’s ninth pastor in 1916. Within two year former Pastor Pelham Jones died on September 11, 1918. Trustee Milton Howell died in 1921 during Reverend Harrison Gallman’s tenure as pastor of Zion Mount Moriah. Likewise, Sister Martha Goodwin died in February 8, 1927.

Brother Simon Hopkins served as church clerk during the beginning of Reverend Gallman’s pastorate. Brother Hopkins reported 90 members for Zion Mount Moriah in 1917. Brother J. E. Jones attended the Association for the church in that year. Brother Phillip Sumter was elect Sunday School Superintendent around this time. William Hardy was elected Superintendent by 1919. The Secretary serving with Brother Hardy was L. Diggs. Around 1930 Zion Mount Moriah’s first female Superintendent was Mrs. Mary M. Days was selected. She was ably assisted by Mrs. Annie J. Mines. Other active in the Sunday School were Paul Taylor, Fed McCoy and P. Sumpter.

Brother Ishmeal Tillman became the new church clerk around 1938. Brother Tillman noted that the church had 9 baptisms and 4 restorations in 1941.

Active deacons during Reverend Gallman’s tenure as pastor were Fed McCoy, Lee Davis, Paul Harris, R. W. Jones, Wilson Sumter and J. James. Peter Sumter and Milton Howell were the two trustees when Reverend Gallman ended his pastorate at Zion Mount Moriah in 1941.

Reverend Westbury H. Neal was called as the next pastor of the church in 1941. Deacons serving during Pastor Neal tenure were Robert Dwight, Josh Harris, Linburgh Sumter, Jerry Davis, Edward Harris, Phillip Sumpter and Hubert Yowe. Deacon Phillip Sumter was chairman of the board it that time. Brother William Dwight was the church clerk. Trustee during this period were David Belton, P. Sumter, J. Sumter and P. Washington.

Sister Mary M. Days continue to serve as Superintendent . The clerk of Zion Mount Moriah continued to be brother I. Tilllman. E. Sumpter was elected church clerk in 1948.. Faithful members included Simon P. Hopkins Cherry Hopkins, Eliza S. Benson, Mary M.Days, K Dwight, Hattie Dwight and Phillip Sumpter. Shortly after Pastor Neal arrival, a visiting minister observing the crowd commented "Build a new sanctuary or get rid of your Pastor".

Sister Mary M. Days was elected as the Secretary of the Wateree Sunday School Convention, U. D. in 1944. She was a very faith member who had no children, but adopted some and raised them.

Under the leadership of Pastor Neal and the deacons Zion Mount Moriah rebuilt there sanctuary in 1959. The entire church was bricked in 1968 during Reverend Neal’s tenure. Pastor W. H. Neal resigned in 1978 after serving some 38 years.

Zion Mount Moriah’s eleventh pastor was Reverend Blakely N. Scott, Jr. Deacons working with Pastor Scott included Robert Dwight, Jimmie Harris, David Belton, Sr., Jerry Davis, Edward Harris, John Smith, Sr. and Linburgh Sumter. Trustees were James Hopkins, Dearold Shiver (Daryl as sent to me, spelling corrected by Sherisse A. Goodwin), James Sumter, Peter Sumter and Pelham Washington.

During the 102 Annual Session of the Wateree Association, Dr. W. H. Neal made a motion that all officers be elected to succeed themselves. A substitute motion by Reverend James Wilson that we elect officers by vote. The house was opened for nominations. Afterward Reverends J. A. Peters and B. N. Scott were nominated for moderator. Reverend Scott received 20 votes and Reverend Peters received 4 votes. Pastor Blakely Scott was duly elected moderator of the Wateree Association, UD October 15, 1982. Pastor Scott has continued to serve as Moderator since his election.

The church was renovated in 1986 under the leadership of Pastor Blakely N. Scott. The church began plans to construct a new facility in 1995.

Currently, as of November 22, 1998 the associates ministers at the church include Reverend Leo Harris and Yolanda Jackson. Richard Goodwin is the Sunday School Superintendent. Currently active deacons are Linburg Sumter, John Smith, Sr., David Belton, Sr., Edward Harris, Joseph Robinson, Jr. and Richard Goodwin. Lingburg Sumter is the chairman of the Deacons.

Trustees of the church include Edward J. Harris, Robert Harris, Jr., Donald Goodson, Lewis Brown, Cartha J. Harris, Christopher Shiver, Shand Sims, Bryant Sumter, Gilbert Sumter, James Sumter, Peter Sumter and Pelham Washington. Christopher Shiver is the church clerk.

Zion Mount Moriah’s musical choir is one of the best in the state. Recently, the choir did a musical recording. May God’s speed and blessings be upon Pastor Blakely N. Scott and the great family of the Zion Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Hopkins, S. C. (God’s Country).

Submitted by Ms. Deborah Scott Brooks.  On Sunday, August 10, 2008 –while attending the 30th Pastoral Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Blakely Scott, my brother, I took photos of the cornerstones on the old church building. This morning, while searching the Historical Sketch of Zion Mount Moriah Baptist Church, on the SC GenWeb: Richland County, I discovered an interesting bit of info. On the website, I was using the search tool to find the Minister’s name that was listed on the 1916 cornerstone of the 1st/old church structure. Typing the name “Golmand” continued to result in a “No Text Found”! Again, I referred to the photo that I had taken and confirmed that I was spelling the name as listed on the cornerstone --then suddenly something else jumped out from the photo. Not only was the pastor’s name spelled, Golmand, and not Gallman, as listed in Rev. John Middleton’s writing, the church’s name was engraved with a spelling of MT. MARIA. The other cornerstone does list the spelling as Mt. Moriah.

Original, Mount "Maria" Cornerstone Contrast Enhanced

Ms. Deborah Scott Brooks  has sent a photo of the cornerstone on the church (above, including an attempt to increase legibility), stating the original spelling as "Maria."  Photographs Copyright ©2009 Deborah Scott Brooks, all rights reserved.

Copyright ©2002, John Middleton, Associate Minister at New Light Beulah Baptist Church, Hopkins, S. C, all rights reserved.  Copyright ©2002, New Light Beulah Baptist Church, all rights reserved.  These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.

Please send notification of all errors and corrections to Dr. Frank O. Clark, webmaster.  Thanks.

Return to African American Page

Return to Church Page

Richland County Home Page