Swift Creek Baptist Church – Boykin, South Carolina
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This Greek Revival church in Boykin was built in 1827 and is one oldest remaining buildings within the historic Boykin Mill Complex. The rural community includes relics dating from the mid-nineteenth century to early the twentieth century, including the Boykin grist mill, a circa 1875 post office, a 1905 general store, and three mill houses built in the 1930s. The mill pond on Swift Creek, the church’s namesake, actually dates to 1786.
The present church was not the first to have served the Baptist congregation at Mill Tract, as the Boykin Mill property was once known. The congregation formed in 1783 in nearby Camden. Since 1792, land within the Mill Tract has been designated for use by the Society of Baptists, and in the 1825 Robert Mills map, a Baptist church is documented near this site. A deed from 1809 states, “Be it remembered that on the within named Mill Tract one acre of land…on which a meeting house now stands has been given by a former proprietor to the Society of Baptists for that purpose.”
This church structure sat vacant for much of the twentieth century, closing some time in the 1930s. It was restored in 1994 with support from the South Carolina Department of History and Archives. Though the church no longer holds weekly services, it is used for weddings and other special occasions.
Swift Creek Baptist Church is listed in the National Register as part of the Boykin Mill Complex:
(Mill Tract Plantation) Boykin Mill Complex is a central locale that has historically been important in the life of rural Kershaw County. At present, “Boykin Mill” denotes a community which consists of an old post office (ca. 1875), an old general store (ca. 1905), a ca. 1905 grist mill, mill pond, mill dam, gates, and canals. The community also includes an early nineteenth century Greek Revival style Baptist church (ca. 1827), one mid-nineteenth century residence, three twentieth century residences (ca. 1935) built for mill workers, and a smoke house. A Civil War battle site is also a part of the Boykin Mill community. The battle at Boykin Mill took place on April 17, 1865. The importance of these sites revolves around the large mill pond on Swift Creek. The pond dates to at least 1786, when it was platted for Robert English, who was apparently the first grantee of the mill pond tract. A succession of saw and grist mills has been located on or near the dam to the pond since that time.
Swift Creek Baptist Church Info
Address: Boykin Mill Road, Rembert, SC 29128
GPS Coordinates: 34.130066,-80.577402
Swift Creek Baptist Church Map
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