First Baptist Church – Hartsville, South Carolina

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First Baptist Church of Hartsville was organized in 1850 under the direction of John Lide Hart, the son of town founder Captain Thomas E. Hart. Initially called Hartsville Baptist Church, the congregation formed when members from New Providence and Gum Branch Baptist churches merged. John Lide Hart donated land to support the new church, and its first sanctuary was built here in 1851.

First Baptist Hartsville

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

That same year Hartsville Baptist Church became a member of the Welsh Neck Baptist Association, named for nearby Welsh Neck Baptist Church, which was formed in 1738 by Welsh Baptist settlers from Delaware. Welsh Neck was the first Baptist church in the Pee Dee region, and many other Baptist churches in Darlington County developed from this early congregation.

First Baptist Church Hartsville

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1853 the South Carolina General Assembly granted Hartsville Baptist its official charter. By 1906 the church had grown significantly, and the church changed its name to First Baptist. This stucco building was constructed in 1908 by noted architect and Hartsville native Charles Coker Wilson, who also completed the South Carolina State House in 1907. In 1909 Dr. E.V. Baldy, Coker College’s first president, was serving as pastor. The church continued to grow through the decades, and in 1964 a brick church (not shown) was built in front of the stucco church, and that is where First Baptist parishioners worship today.

First Baptist Church is listed in the National Register as part of the East Home District:

The East Home Avenue Historic District is significant for its association with the residential development of Hartsville from ca. 1850 to ca. 1938; as a reflection of the diverse architectural styles and influences of that period; and for its association with the leading figures of the town’s history. Home Avenue has historically been the major residential street in Hartsville since it was laid out and landscaped in 1890. This district specifically illustrates the residential and commercial/industrial growth of Hartsville for the period ca. 1890 to ca. 1938. The district is a collection of 60 primarily residential properties, 54 of which contribute to the historic character of the district and 6 which are non-contributing. Architectural styles and influences include Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, Craftsman, and Bungalow.

First Baptist Church Info

Address: 104 East Home Avenue, Hartsville, SC 29550

First Baptist Church Map

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