Chesterfield District Chapter
South Carolina Genealogical Society
Chesterfield District Chapter, S.C.G.S.
P.O. Box 167 Chesterfield, South Carolina 29709
Chesterfield Advertiser, October 20, 1949, page 3, col. 3: The History of Zoar Methodist Church
In an attempt to estimate the forces that led the good people of Zoar community to establish and dedicate a house of worship, there can be no question as to their right to a place among the great and noble of the Earth. In courage, a self-command, strength of will, tenacity of purpose, profound religious earnestness, and steadfast and heroic devotion, they have had few equals in this community.
In the early history of our church and Sunday school it was only a little one room log building with wooden shutters for the windows and slab bench with no backs. This building was erected by public subscription and willing workers and was used as a school room as well as being used for religious purposes. The plot of land was given by Mr. William Roberson.
Some of the first officials of Zoar Church were Mike, Johnnie and William Davis and one among the first superintendents was Sam Timmons his assistant being Dick Powell. This faithful superintendent, Mr. Timmons, was the first to find the that has given of its bountiful water to those who have come and gone. A number of superintendents have presided, among them being Edward Parker, Isaac Rivers, Jr., Jimmie Teal, better known as "Bud," J. W. T. Rivers, C. W. Teal, John N. Campbell, and our present superintendent, Mrs. Hattie C. Teal.
Some of the early teachers were Miss Nancy Davis, Mrs. Ella Teal Boatwright, Mrs. Laura Davis, Mrs. C. W. Teal, and Mr. Bill Davis. The literature that was first used was the blue back spelling book. Later the Catechism was taken up and then the quarterlies.
The church was first supported by missions and to help finance the church people brought eggs and gave them to the treasurer, Mr. Ross, to sell. This church, being in its infancy, could not get a full time pastor, but instead, a local preacher, Rev. Rainwater, and some times, Mr. Quick, came form Marlboro County to preach. Following these men came Rev. Malcolm Wood, the first full time pastor. He lived down on the Roberson quarter and walked up here to preach. Many, many other preachers have followed these God-called men who blazed the way with light and sunshine gathered from the Book of Books to set Christianity aglow. Among these have been Rev. W. L. Pegues in 1849, Rev. J. W. Murray, who was the first preacher to spend the night with Mr. James Ross, J. D. Rowell, J. W. McRoy, J. D. Frierson, W. H. Whitaker, J. W. Kilgo, J. L. Harley, R. A. Yongue, H. R. Dagnell, J. N. Isom, J. P. Attaway, A. F. Berry, H. L. Wiggin, J. J. Stevenson, F. M. Duke, J. T. Fowler, L. L. Bedenbaugh, J. L. Tryler, J. B Guess, L. E. Peeler, W. P. Way, Gobe Smith, D. N. Busbee, E. S. Dunbar, Paul Whitaker, W. A. Beckham, and our present pastor, T. C. Shuler. From this church have gone out four ministers of the Gospel, namely, Reverends A. M. Gardner, H. J. Brown, G. C. Caulder, and J. Sherwood Davis.
The church has been rebuilt three times and remodeled twice. It has grown steadily from a little log building to the present day structure, with a Sunday School over 100 years old. May the future of Zoar Church be not less zealous and evangelistic than the past has been nor surrender those unique features of its organization which have enabled it to make its evangelism effective. But there are signs that it is coming to realize in a new way its large mission as a church of the responsibilities which belong to such an organization. This being true, it may be safely predicted that its growth in the future will be even more rapid than it has been in the past and the days of its greatest usefulness are still before it.