In 1775, the Congaree Baptist Church was established and remains today in the same location where our forefathers attended until 1868. At that time in our history, the slaves attended the same church as their slave owners. In 1868, five hundred Black members left the Congaree Baptist Church and organized the Red Hill Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Jonas Anchrom. Accommodations for members were not adequate, however, Reverend Jonas Anchrom served the people faithfully in a vacant house about three miles from the present location on a little red clay knoll; thereby, the church was named Red Hill Baptist Church.
In 1871, Red Hill joined the Gethsemane Association Upper Division. After five years, they joined the Pee Dee Association in 1877. Reverend Anchrom died on Sunday, February 25, 1877 while delivering his message from the pulpit. Some of the first known deacons were James Scott, Joseph Lowe, John J. Hoff, Simon Haynes, Benjamin Hamilton, William Shiver, Steven S. Cochran, and Lewis W. James. Deacon L. James was also the church clerk. Deacon Cochran later became a Minister.
After the death of Reverend Anchrom, Rev. Steven S. Cochran became the second pastor of Red Hill Baptist Church that same year. Several members received letters for dismissal to organize Mount Zion in Eastover, which was first pastored by Rev. Frank Gunter. Under the leadership of Reverend Cochran, the Sunday School Department was organized in 1878. Deacon John J. Hoff, a schoolteacher, served as the first superintendent. E. Green was the secretary. The Sunday school consisted of approximately one hundred-forty (140) students and nine (9) teachers. The Pee Dee Association ordained Deacon James Scott on August 17, 1879. Ministers who witnessed this occasion were Rev. Clem Davis, Rev. William Lowman, and Rev. Peter Shiver.
Reverend James Scott was elected to carry on the pastoralship of the church. During which time, the membership increased making it necessary to build a larger edifice to better accommodate the growing congregation. Reverend Scott and the deacons decided to purchase a plot of land that would allow sufficient space for a larger church building and burial ground. Because they were unable to buy the land on which the church was first started, they moved three miles from the original spot and bought two acres of land from the late Doctor Julius Huguenin on December 22, 1873. The construction of the building began soon after the purchase of the land. Within a year, the building was complete. What a glorious day it was for this undershepherd and flock of this great church to hold their first Sunday worship services in their new building.
In 1881, many churches withdrew from the Pee Dee Association to form the Wateree Association. Red Hill, however, remained with the Pee Dee, and hosted the 13th Annual Session from Thursday, November 1 through Sunday November 3, 1883. As a result of a missionary project of the association, a group of members withdrew from Red Hill to organize Mount Nebo Baptist on April 12, 1884. Red Hill Baptist hosted the 18th Annual
Session of the Pee Dee Association in 1888. The church now had at least 600 members, who were responsible for housing and feeding the guests from out of town. Red Hill was the mother church of origin for many churches in the Lower Richland community. In 1889, a group of members withdrew to form Mount Olive Baptist.
Reverend Scott continued to serve his followers with much spiritual zeal and zest. His health began to fail and after a brief but serious illness, God called him to his eternal rest on July 15, 1906. The thirty-five years of Christian service he rendered left a lasting spiritual impression on the church and the entire community. In 1907, another group of members organized Pleasant Grove Baptist.
After the passing of Reverend Scott, the church was without a pastor for several months, but finally they were blessed to secure the leadership of the eminent speaker and great theologian the Reverend Robert W. Jenkins. Under his Pastoralship Red Hill became known as the most outstanding rural Baptist church for Blacks in the Lower Richland area. Rev. Jenkins not only advocated Christian education but academic education, as well. Being a teacher in the community and with deep concern for those of his flock who were unable to read or write their names, he started the first night school for adults to help them gain some form of learning denied them during their youth. Several men from Red Hill Baptist Church were members of the American Literacy Union Society. They were Jeff Tucker, Peter Shiver, Nathan Scott and Easop Goodson. Red Hill’s contribution to the South Carolina Education and Missionary Convention exceeded those of other churches per member within the area. The Church grew and flourished for twenty-three years under this great minister. After he was stricken with a serious illness, Rev. Jenkins died on November 17, 1930.
The Pulpit Committee headed by the late W.W (Bill) Dowdy was interested in a pastor who was capable of leading the members both spiritually and intellectually. The Rev. Thomas I. Duckett from Benedict College was chosen as the fifth pastor of Red Hill Baptist. Under his administration, the Missionary
Society and the Usher Board were organized. Repairs were done to the church and the unique table that we have in our fellowship hall was an idea of his; but built by the Huguenin brothers, the late John and Dave Huguenin. Rev. Duckett gave ten successful years of faithful service before his resignation in
The resignation of Rev. Duckett led the Board of Deacons to ask Reverend Lucius H. Robinson, a native of Anderson County and a teacher in the Eastover community, to serve as interim pastor for the remainder of the year. Because of his satisfactory service, the officers and members elected Rev. Robinson as pastor in January 1941 as the sixth pastor of Red Hill Baptist.
Reverend Robinson was a young and aggressive Christian man trained in Theology and church work. He first sought to identify the needs of the church. Under his administration, many accomplishments were made such as, the painting of the church both interior and exterior; adding additional rooms the pastor’s office and a multi-purpose room; purchasing of the old Red Hill School; and one-half acre of land on which an outdoor Baptismal pool was built (the building was used for a dressing room). Due to growth in membership, the congregation felt the need for a larger place of worship and a better road for travel. Rather than move to a site with paved roads, the pastor advocated having the road leading to the church paved. In mid 1950s, he began to contact property owners in the neighborhood and the County Commissioner concerning this problem. A few years later the road was paved.
Now plans for a new building could begin. Because the congregation needed a place to assemble, demolition of the old building could not occur before the new building was complete. It was decided that more land was needed. Mrs. Marion W. McLester owned the land the church wanted to purchase. She was contacted to sell the land to the church; however, after much prayer and deep consideration, she deeded the land to the church, as a gift in honor of her parents the late Hampton and Margaret Woodard.
This purchase includes the plot of land on which the present sanctuary now stands. Work was started in 1964 and dedication dedication service was held on January 8, 1967. The next phase of construction included a fellowship hall and classroom building. After fifty years of loyal and dedicated service to his church and community, Reverend Robinson was called to eternal rest on March 27, 1993 at 8:20 p.m.
The seventh pastor of Red Hill Baptist Church, Reverend Donnie Carl Chambers, was elected by the members in September 1992 and installed in October of the same year. Reverend Chambers was born February 6, 1953 in Greenville, SC. He is the third child of the late James Charles and Annie Ruth Chambers. He attended Greenville Public Schools. He was a graduate of West Greenville Elementary and Berea High Schools. Pastor Chambers acknowledged his calling to preach the Gospel and Continued his education at Morris College School of Religion at the Greenville Extension and Columbia Institution, Spartanburg, SC. There he received his Bachelor of Divinity degree on May 14, 1987. Reverend Chambers was ordained in 1984 at Golden Grove Baptist Church in Traveler’s Rest, S.C. He served as pastor of the Goodwill Baptist Church in Greenville, SC for four years. He also served as one of the associate pastors at Zion Baptist Church, Washington Street, Columbia, S.C. He is affiliated with the South Carolina Congress of Christian Education and is a member of the Columbia Chapter of the NAACP. He currently serves as Moderator of the Wateree Association, Upper Division.
Pastor Chambers is married to Onetha G. Chambers. They are the proud parents of three lovely children, Orenthal, Joshua, and Leslie. Under the leadership of Pastor Chambers, the Educational Wing and Fellowship Hall were completed; Worship
Service is held every Sunday; Mid-day Bible Study is taught on Wednesdays: the youth Worship Service is conducted on the 4th Sunday of each month; Children’s Church was established; a Youth Minister was appointed; an increase in membership and budget; the parking lot was paved; and forty-two acres of land was purchased. Construction of the paved parking lot was completed in 1998. Several ministries were organized under Pastor Chambers’ leadership. Chief Deacon Emeritus Wallace Reese Sr. passed in 1999, and Chief Deacon James Portee passed in 2000. Deacon Allen Dowdy presently serves as Chief Deacon.
Several Ministers have been ordained during Reverend Chamber’s tenure. Minister Frank Woods, Jr. accepted God’s calling into the ministry and preached his trial sermon at Red Hill in July 1988. He was ordained in May 1993. He is married to the former Helen Bratcher of Conway, SC, and they have three children, Frank III, Christie, and Brian. Minister Woods served as a Sunday School Teacher, Bible Study Teacher and Associate Minister at Red Hill prior to being selected as Interim Pastor at New Light Beluah Baptist Church of Hopkins. He presently serves as Pastor of Agape Christian Outreach.
Minister Bernard Wilson preached his first sermon on February 25, 1996. He was ordained in 1999 by the Wateree Upper Division Baptist Association. He was appointed Youth Minister in 1998 and was instrumental in restructuring youth service. Minister Wilson was also appointed in 2000 as the first Youth Director for the Youth Christian Education Ministry in the Wateree Upper Division Baptist Association. Minister Wilson is married to the former Terry Williams. They are blessed with one son, Michael and one grandson Michael. Presently, he is blessed to be the Interim Pastor at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Gadsden, SC.
Evangelist Onetha G. Chambers was called by God to evangelize to all of God’s people, regardless of denomination or race. She was licensed as a Gospel Minister on January 6, 2002, at Red Hill Baptist Church. She humbly flows under the anointing of the following spiritual gifts, as the Holy Spirit gives her utterance, with signs following: Gifts of Healing, Visions, Teaching, Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy, Faith, and Encouragement. She published her first national article entitled, “Women, He’s Calling Your Name” in a national magazine, Women’s Ministries, Women of Power; Fall 2001 edition. (Premier Issue). She is currently attending Christian Life School of Theology to further her education in the ministry.
Minister Robert Karl Williams was called to preach by God in 1978 and was licensed on June 2, 2002. Minister Williams is the son of Robert & Lillian Taylor Williams. He is married to Chappelle Davis Williams of Newark, N.J. He is the proud father of three children: Antwan, Atira, and Tobias. He writes and directs plays. One is entitled, Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth. He believes, if you love God you must worship Him in spirit and in truth. One of Minister Williams’ foundation scriptures is Proverb 3:5,6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” When Minister Williams gave his life to Christ, he became dedicated and consecrated to be used for God's glory.
Minister Chappelle Chyliss Davis Williams was born on July 14 in Newark, NJ to Ms. Henrietta Eaddy Davis. Minister Williams is married to Minister Robert K. Williams and they share in loving their three children: Antwan, Atira, and Tobias. Ministers Robert and Chappelle Williams reside in the Gadsden-Eastover area and are small business owners. She attended North Greenville College in Tigerville, South Carolina and Midland Technical College in Columbia. Minister Williams is presently employed with The Law Offices Of Brian L. Boger. Minister Williams received her Certificate Of License on July 14, 2002. One of the many scriptures that have helped her through all times in her life is Psalms 92. She believes it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises unto his name.
The church has been blessed with five more ministers;
Minster Roger McBeth, Presently serving as Pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Eastover
Minister Sherman McBeth, presently serving as the Minister of Music of the
Minister Sandra Green: So I hold true to the words in Jeremiah 1:5 ‘...’before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee...’ So I heeded to the call into to the Ministry and on July 28, 2013 I gave my official Initial Sermon and I was licensed as a Minister of Teaching. Then in November 2015 I was officially ordained as a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the Wateree Baptist Association Upper Division. It is an honor to be chosen by God to be used in this capacity. I hold a Bachelor Degree in Business Management, A Degree in Human Services and Office System Technology. I retired from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control after 32 years of service as a Director of Quality Improvement. God has blessed me as a published writer of a book of Poetry entitled ‘My All In All’ The Life of Jesus Birth, Death, Resurrection and Ascension. He also blessed me with three songs lyrics being published and am currently working on a book on relationships and a collections of books entitled "Nana's Nuggets"I and others, and occasionally write articles for our Church Newsletters. I have a husband, John, a daughter, Desiree`(Jimmy) and three grandchildren, Kerrie, JeMiah, and Zion.
Evangelist Anya Dixon was born January 6, 1981 to Arnett and Patricia Dixon. A native of Columbia South Carolina, she was educated in the public's schools of Richland County and graduated from W. J. Keenan High School. She later began undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, and received A Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Industry from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. Afterwards, she began graduate studies in Film Scoring at New York University. Evangelist Dixon has always had a passion for music, young people, and The Lord. She received her spiritual upbringing at Red Hill Baptist Church in Gadsden, South Carolina, where the pastor is Donnie C. Chambers. It was at Red Hill where she grew up singing on the youth choir, later becoming the choirʼs musician, and currently serves as the churchʼs Minister of Music. Accepting the call to ministry in 2012, Evangelist Dixon was licensed to preach the Gospel in 2013 and was ordained by the Wateree Baptist Association Upper Division in 2015. She can not only preach the Word, but can also sing the Word. As a gospel recording artist, Evangelist Dixon has traveled the country ministering to the young and old through concerts and workshops. God has placed a mighty call on her life and the anointing can been seen, heard, and felt whenever she stands to do the work of The Lord.
Minister Charles Cureton presently serving as Pastor with Friendship Baptist Church of Hopkins South Carolina