Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church
Greenwood, South Carolina
It is an important factor to know where, when and how we got started as a church. In the beginning, record keeping was poorly done and some of our records were destroyed by fire. When writing the history of a church, with few records, one is inherently tempted to limit the history to documented facts and responsible interpretation. Such as in our situation, documents being very limited, we had to rely upon creditable verbal reports, borrowed data, and other resources. We acknowledge with grateful hearts the many contributions made by those living and deceased.
Macedonia Baptist Church had its beginning on Mineral Street under a bush harbor made by a group of people who believed in prayer. In the summertime, in the cool of the day, they got together and had prayer and singing to worship God under this harbor. During the bad and cold weather, this group of faithful believers met from house to house between Mineral Street and Marion Street on the west side of Greenwood.
In 1882, a group of people saw the need for a baptist church edifice on the west side of town. The organizational meeting was held at the home of William and Rachel Dandy on Mineral Street. Emma Cook gave the church its name– Macedonia Baptist Church.
The first pastor of the church was Rev. Charles Franklin. The first elected deacons were: Henry Arnold, Ned Sanders, and Charles Logan. Henry C. Arnold was elected the church clerk.
The church was moved out of the Dandy’s home to a double house on Marion Avenue between the property of Howard Burnette and J.B. Taylor. The next move was to a small frame building between Marion Avenue and Mineral Street.
Under the leadership of Rev. J. C. Goode, a wooden structure was built. Reverend Goode served for approximately fourteen years. Other outstanding pastors serving the church for short periods were: Rev. Hall, Rev. Watson, and Rev. Murphy.
In 1901, the church moved to its present site. The Rev. J.C. Cooper was serving as pastor. After a few years, Rev. T. H. Broadus was elected pastor of the church. In 1919, under his administration, a brick structure was built. The deacons serving at that time were: Silas Carter, W. F. Floyd, Henry C. Arnold, George Smith, N. Adkins, M. R. Holloway and Jack Gilchrist.
During the time of Rev. Broadus’ pastorate, the congregation grew rapidly and Macedonia was beginning to become a place of refuge for many people. The work of Reverend Brodaus will always be remembered as a footprint for what Macedonia would stand for; for many years to come.
Following Rev. Broadus’ tenure was Rev. E. H. Herbert, who was then followed by Reverend E.J. Daniels, and Reverend E.D. White. During the three years Reverend White served the church, physical improvements were made to the edifice of the church.
In 1941, Reverend E.J. Daniels returned to Macedonia. Under his second administration, the church debt was paid and the mortgage burned in 1944. He served the church until his health failed. He retired after approximately thirty-five years of service. The following were deacons of the church: George Wideman, William Collier, Robert Hill, James Tolbert, Willie Smith, Robert Smith, Thomas Jones and Green Felts.
In July 1975, Reverend Willie S. Harrison was called to pastor Macedonia Baptist Church. His first message set the tone for the new attitude of Macedonia. The text was taken from Zechariah 4:1-14. The subject was “Mission Impossible.” In this message Rev. Harrison stated that, “Nothing is impossible when you put your trust in God. What seems impossible with man is supremely possible with God!” He urged the congregation to accept the enabling source of power available to them.
Rev. Harrison was a spiritual blessing. This visionary pastor exhibited qualities of one devoted to the cultural levels of all mankind. He was a great humanitarian and a dynamic speaker. His leadership was felt throughout the community, the state and the nation. He came with the philosophy of “Organize, Deputize, and Supervise.”
Under Rev. Harrison’s leadership the church has undergone many charges spiritually and physically. The church was renovated at a cost of approximately $54,000.00, with much of the work done by Rev. Harrison.
Since 1976, much renovation had been done on the present edifice: Ladies’ and men’s restrooms were added at the front of the sanctuary and a small one in the pulpit area. Two choir stands were built, pulpit furniture bought, new pews, ceiling lights and carpet installed. A nursery was built in the basement. A heating and cooling system was installed. A new sound system was installed as well. A new entrance was built to enter the basement and sanctuary from the side of the church and a covered ramp built on the right side of the church. Property was bought on each side of the church for expansion and the parking lot extended and paved. In July 2003, two lots on Macedonia Avenue were donated to the church by Louise T. Arnold, Helen T. Barnette, Marie T. Smith and Genevieve T. Poe for future expansion.
Under Rev. Harrison’s leadership, the old Westside School Property adjoining our property was bought to be used as a center for the church and the community. The church, not having enough funds for purchase and renovations, gave Rev. Harrison permission to appoint a separate board to raise money and renovate this dilapidated building for church and community use. Nine influential community-spirited persons served as Board of Advisors. Members of the board were: A. A. Carter, Mrs. R. V. Holloway, Forrest Parker, J. L. Parks, Mrs. J. H. Robinson, Ms. Carrie Ross, B. J. Sanders, Dr. I. M. Tompkins, and T. W. Williams. In the fund raising effort for renovation of the property, Rev. Harrison basically asked the board for the use of their good names. Through the use of their good names and hard work on the part of Rev. Harrison, as administrator, over sixty thousand dollars ($60,000.00) was raised. The Self Foundation and Warner-Lambert Foundation were major contributors. Other community spirited institutions, individuals, and organizations also contributed to the project.
The doors of Macedonia Center were officially opened, April 3, 1977. Since its opening day, the center has been a beehive of activity. The center has served as a childcare center and outreach center for GLEAMNS Human Resource Commission; a tutorial center; Help A Child Learn (HACL); A Back To School/Stay In School Tutorial Center sponsored by NAACP; a meeting place for Boy and Girl Scout Troops, Fraternal Organizations, The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center; and workshops for children and adults on a regular basis, Chamber of Commerce Committees, and other organizations, too numerous to mention. The Narcotic Anonymous Group for the surrounding area calls Macedonia Center home. The new Habitat Community is a part of us and we are a part of them. We are home for the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Choir and the Coalition of Concerned Organizations (COCO).
Through attrition and growth of the church, the Board of Advisors’ service ended. A plaque expressing appreciation to the Board was given in 1993 and placed in the center. It is now placed on the wall by the main entrance.
In 1963, a playground was opened on a portion of the Westside School Property. The playground was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and others. The property for the playground was donated to Greenwood County by Greenwood School District 50. The three sponsoring agencies were Greenwood County Parks and Recreation, The Chamber of Commerce, and The Area Council on Human Relations. In 1983, at the end of the twenty year lease, the playground and the Westside School property became part of Macedonia Baptist Church.
Under the leadership of Reverend Dr. W. S. Harrison, the budget and membership increased; as well as the development of many ministries. The Deacons (at that time) were: A.A. Carter, James Lagroon, Jasper Quarles, John Smith, Robert Smith, and James Tolbert. Later on, the deacons that served under Reverend Harrison were: G.H. Harrison, Thomas Lee, Harry Rice, Dale Smith, James Thomas, James G. Williams, T. W. Williams, and Valoris Williams.
In December 2007, Reverend Dr. W. S. Harrison announced his retirement. He remained our pastor until June 30, 2008 as we transitioned into new leadership.
A Pastoral Search committee (PSC) was put into place in January, 2008. The members included James G. Williams (chairperson), Robert Dean, James O. Williams, Barbara Martin, Ankoma Anderson, James Thomas, Terry Smith, and Gus Covington. As the PSC carried out their mission, Macedonia continued to work for the Lord.
June 28 – 29, 2008, the Macedonia church family celebrated Rev. Dr. W.S. Harrison’s retirement, with festivities at the Little River Multicultural Complex in Hodges, SC. The gymnatorium was named in honor of Rev. Dr. W.S. Harrison. On Sunday, June 29, 2008, Reverend Dr. W.S. Harrison preached his last sermon as pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, entitled “Mission Impossible,” which was also the first sermon he preached as pastor. The scripture for this sermon was Zechariah 1: 1– 6.
Reverend Deloris Henderson served as Interim Pastor of Macedonia from July 20 through August 3, 2008. On July 27, 2008, Reverend Bernard Mormon was voted in as Pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.
On August 10, 2008, Reverend Mormon preached his first sermon as pastor— “The New Crowd” referenced from Malachi 1:10 – 11. Under Reverend Mormon’s leadership, a number of people joined the church as well as restored their membership. Reverend Mormon pastored the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church from
August 10, 2008 through February 20, 2011. On February 27, 2011, Reverend Mormon resigned.
The Deacon Ministry (Dale Smith, Chairman) handled securing the pulpit. On July 16, 2011, Reverend Sylvester Jackson conducted a church meeting at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church per the members’ request. The result of the meeting was the formation of the Church Council, a body of members with the purpose to keep the church moving forward. The elected members were: Paulett Smith (Chairperson), Reverend S.W. Harrison, Adrienne Logan, Lillian Thomas, Deacon Ronald Smith, Deacon Dale Smith, James Lagroon, Deaconess Loretta Williams, and Deloris A. Bacote. This council is still active.
In November 2011, the Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) was formed. The elected members are: Minister Ankoma Anderson (Chairman), Reverend S.W. Harrison, Cornelia Walker, Deaconess Loretta Williams, Annie Jackson, Deloris A. Bacote, and Trustee Terrence Smith. Currently, the PSC is in charge of securing the pulpit.
On May 5, 2012, Minister Ankoma Anderson participated in the Little River Missionary Baptist Association’s (LRMBA) Catechism Exam and passed. He along with the Macedonia Church Family and the LRMBA’s Ordination Committee are planning his ordination services.
We, the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church Family, are in constant prayer for God’s guidance in securing the right fit for this great edifice, the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church!