An African American History Site
City Directories and History: This remarkable church was constructed by the congregation in 1946. The brochure provided R&R in Jan. 2016, states, “According to researcher Garnett Ann Schultz, the beginnings of Hopewell, can be traced back as far as 1855, when it was first called Shiloh Presbyterian church. Around 1890, with its membership declining at Shiloh, the white congregation sold the church to the growing black community in Kings Greek, S.C. They changed the name to Hopewell Independent Presbyterian church. That church burned to the ground after it was set ablaze by someone in the community.
In 1915, a new Hopewell structure was completed. Members used their carpentry skills. Schultz said, “Even eight pews and other furnishing were formed by their own hand and assembled with wooden pegs.” The first interim and full-time pastors for the church came from Biddle College, now Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. Among these pastors were the late: J.W. Smith, brother of church member Amzi Smith. It is unclear when this congregation changed the name to Hopewell Presbyterian.
During he Great Depression, they began the task of building a new church. This time they decided to build it of stone, “to construct a lasting monument to memorialize their love of God.” Under the pastorship of the Rev. Marvin Flack, the task was completed in 1946. Using any spare time in the day, black farmers gathered stones and rocks from their farmland. They also gathered rocks from along creeks and river beds. They hauled the materials back up to the church site to construct the exterior that you see today. “They would take wagons and go around each other’s farms looking for specific type of rocks,” said Doris Smith Hold, a former member of the church who lives in N.C. members of the church who were masons, carpenters, and farmers, constructed everything in and outside the church except the steeple.” Printed courtesy of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church – 2016
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