Hickory Grove Baptist Church History
In 1885 a group of dedicated Christians eagerly got together to establish a place where they could worship and call their own. With hard work and their trust in God, they were able to establish Hickory Grove Baptist church.
The name Hickory Grove was given to the church because the church was built from crude hickory lumber and was located in a grove of hickory trees. By verbal records, the first baptism was held at the Rowesville Landing of the Edisto River.
Our founding deacons were George Gordon, Sr., Daniel McCormick and Govan Lawton. Other deacons since the establishment of the church: James Gordon, Titus Sims (Chairman of Deacons) S.J. Pringle, Fred Glover, Willie Wright, Coney Grant, William Spells, Bennie McCormick, Henry Dixon, Wise Kizer, Wilbur Phillips, Andrew Gooden, Eugene Abraham (D-1988), Emanuel Fogle (D-1996) Jacob Wright (D-1997), Theodore Abraham, Sr. (D-1999), Sinclair Reginald Abraham, Sr. (D-2003) George Whaley (D-2010) and Melvin Sweat. Our present deacons are Nathaniel Abraham, (Chairman of Deacon Ministry), Calvin Grimes, Reggie Tyler, Roderic Bradley, and David Whaley.
The past pastors of Hickory Grove were Rev. Richard Carmichael, Rev. Mays (Branchville, S.C.) Rev. L.C. Rivers, Rev. Coleman (Orangeburg, S.C.), Rev. Toomer (Orangeburg, S.C.) who served 27 years; Rev. Stevenson, Rev. A.M. Utsey (Bamberg, S.C.), Rev. Rickenbacker (Bamberg, S.C.) Rev. James Daniel Riley (Jacksonboro, S.C.) who served for 34 years; and Rev Lloyd Norris, interim pastor (Columbia, S.C.).
Under the auspices of Rev. Riley, our church accomplished the following: renovation of the sanctuary and classrooms, two restrooms were added to the front of the church, a fellowship hall that seat 200 people, Nursing Unit, Mass Choir, Mother’s Prayer Warriors, Girls’ Scout, New Membership Class, Education Department, Saturday Tutorial Program, Edith Mack and Mary Lou Davis Scholarship Fund and the loan to renovate the church was paid off.
Under the leadership of our present pastor, Reverend Amos Lee Gourdine, who was called in November 2000 to be our Shephard, our church continues to grow. Lights were added to the sanctuary, and the grounds were landscaped; Young Adult Choir, Youth Department, food bank, and annual community were established; Senior Citizen program was reactivated; designated the second Sunday as Youth Sunday, third Sunday as Missionary Sunday and the fourth Sunday as Young Adult Sunday.
We thank God for his church and our church family. As we reflect on the purpose of a church “which is to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ, to assist us in worshipping God, to render service to our fellow man and to unite our divided world through the ministry of reconciliation, we thank God for his many and bountiful blessings. We pray that we will be a church that God will return for and that our church will not have a spot or a wrinkle.