High Hills Baptist Church – Stateburg, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Sumter County Photos | High Hills Baptist Church
High Hills Baptist Church, also known as High Hills of Santee Baptist Church, was founded in 1770. Its current building was constructed in 1803. Richard Furman served as the church’s first pastor shortly after converting to the Baptist denomination and deserting his Anglican roots.
Furman was converted by a local pastor, Joseph Reese, after his family relocated to the High Hills (Stateburg) area from New York state. Many Baptist churches emerged in the area and throughout South Carolina a result of Reverend Furman’s influence. Furman University in Greenville is named for him. High Hills Baptist Church is listed in the National Register.
Contributor James Jenkins says, “Historical markers indicate the High Hills Baptist Church was established on land given by Dr. Joseph Howard. It was moved to land purchased from Gen. Thomas Sumter (the present site). Pastor John M. Roberts (in 1799) opened Roberts Academy, the first Baptist Educational Institution in the state. Furman University later followed in 1826 and later the Southern Baptist Seminary. The church is fenced and should be respected if you visit the site.”
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