Marlboro County, SC

We have a few church histories and photographs and it would be wonderful to have more.  If you can provide any information on Marlboro churches - date established, membership rolls, historical sketches, photographs, what have you - please let me know.


For additional information on South Carolina Methodist church records, you may wish to visit the Wofford College Archives website: The South Carolina United Methodist Collection

"The records of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church are housed in the Archives. These records, which date from 1785, include the minutes of the sessions of the  Annual Conference as well as the conference newspaper, the Southern Christian Advocate.  The Methodist Collection also has an index of the obituaries appearing in the Advocate from 1837 to the present.

The Methodist Collection is the official repository for the records of Conference agencies and holds the records of a number of South Carolina Methodist churches, an index of appointments to churches in the conference from 1785 to 1954, and published histories of the conference and a number of churches."
(Source: Wofford College)

The Circuit Riders of the Methodist Church in Early America

John Wesley's Methodist plan of multiple meeting places called "circuits" required a force of preachers willing to travel to, or make a circuit of, the congregations in their charge. A circuit was made up of two or more local churches (sometimes referred to as societies) in early Methodism. A pastor would be appointed to the charge , or circuit, by his bishop. During the course of a year the minister was expected to visit each church on the charge at least once, and possibly start some new ones. At the end of a year the pastors met with the bishop at annual conference, where they would often be appointed to new charges. A charge containing only one church was called a station. The traveling preachers responsible for caring for these societies, or local churches and stations, became known as circuit riders, or sometimes saddlebag preachers. They traveled light, carrying their belongings and books in their saddlebags. Ranging far and wide through villages and wilderness, they preached daily or more often at any site available be it a log cabin, the local court house, a meeting house, or an outdoor forest setting. Unlike the pastors of settled denominations, these early 
Methodist preachers were constantly on the move. Their assignment was often so large it might take them 5 or 6 weeks to cover their circuit. Francis Asbury (1745 - 1816), the founding bishop of American Methodism, is said to have traveled 270,000 miles and preached 16,000 sermons as he traveled the circuits. Peter Cartwright (1785-1872) described the life of the circuit rider in his Autobiography: "A Methodist preacher, when he felt that God had called him to preach, instead of hunting up a college or Biblical Institute, hunted up a hardy pony, and some traveling apparatus, and with his library always at hand, namely, a Bible, Hymn book, and Discipline, he started, and with a text that never wore out nor grew stale, he cried, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.' In this way he went through storms of wind, hail, snow, and rain; climbed hills and mountains, traversed valleys, plunged through swamps, swollen streams, lay out all night, wet, weary, and hungry, held his horse by the bridle all night, or tied him to a limb, slept with his saddle blanket for a bed, his saddle-bags for a pillow. Often he slept
in dirty cabins, ate roasting ears for bread, drank butter-milk for coffee; took deer or bear meat, or wild turkey, for breakfast,  dinner, and supper. This was old-fashioned Methodist preacher fare and fortune."



Back to Marlboro Churches
Marlboro County

Copyright  1996-2013 by Victoria Proctor. All rights reserved.
All contributed material remains the property of the contributor. This WEB page, however, is copyrighted and may not be copied, altered, converted or uploaded to any electronic system or BBS, message board, mailing list or web site, nor included in any software collection or print collection of any type without the express written permission of the author.