History

Historic Republican Baptist Church, organized just twenty-nine years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, has seen both good and bad times and has been a witness to much of the colorful history that our country has experienced.

From the early records, we learn that in February 1805, a small group of devout believers left their mother church, Big Stephens Creek, for convenience and other reasons to form a new church in a sparsely settled area near Horn’s Creek.  They called their new “meeting house” Bethany at Republican.  The name is shrouded in mystery.

The first business meeting of the new church was Saturday before the 1st Sunday in June, 1805.  At that time George DeLaughter was chosen as supply pastor.  Ozias Morgan (an ancestor of some of the present-day members) and Drury Adams were selected as deacons.  Of the forty-seven members, thirty-six were white and eleven were black.  By 1838, there were sixty whites and sixty-one blacks.  Unlike some churches, Republican never had a slave gallery.

Bethany at Republican was a member of the Bethel Association from 1805-1806.  From 1910 to the present, it has been a member of the Edgefield Baptist Association.

The present building was erected in 1850.  Many improvements have been made.  In 1912-13 the church was completed renovated, and the beautiful stained glass windows were added.  In 1994 a new wing, containing a number of Sunday school rooms and a larger social hall, was added.  In 2008-2009 the sanctuary was enlarged and other improvements made.

Adjacent to the church is the cemetery, containing the graves of veterans from the Mexican War (1846-1848), War between the States (Civil War 1861-65) , Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), and Vietnam War (1955-1975).  The oldest marked grave is that of Dr. Augustus Burt (1847), who was killed by a slave.  The cemetery also contains the graves of 3 former pastors.

In 2005, Republican celebrated it’s 200th anniversary.  A special Sunday service was planned, where church members dressed in the period clothing and few arrived by horse and carriage.

A complete history of Republican Baptist Church is available in “Great Things He has Done” by Vernon Miller.   Please contact the church office for more information (803) 278-2000.