History of Macedonia Christian Methodist Episcopal Church 1888 – 2020
From 1888 – 1906
More than 125 years ago, a small band of Christians came together in their homes in Allendale County to worship and give praises to God. The Rev. & Mrs. T. H. Best, his father, Bro. Thomas Henry Best and his wife, Vinney Best, Sis. Cecelia Fields and her husband, Bro. Aaron Fields, Sis Rachel Davis, Bro. Arthur Smith and his wife organized the first Macedonia Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The first pastor was Rev. Higgins, a student at Paine College of Theology in Augusta, GA. He served the church for four years and left to accept another charge. He was followed by Rev. J. A. Robinson who stayed for two years and Rev. A. P. Waller who served for a very short time. The small band of believers grew and became larger and larger as others submitted themselves to the work of God. The worshippers soon outgrew their homes and began to think of a place for service. On this very spot, they began to worship under a bush arbor. It was not a very dry spot when it rained but those faithful believers endured the discomforts to give God the praises. Though money was scarce and earnings meager, the group banded together under the leadership of Rev. J. A. Walker and the first church building was acquired in 1894. Rev. Walker stayed with the congregation for four years. He made his home with Mrs. T. H. Best and family. He was a very outstanding minister in the CME Church and later ran for bishop. He was followed by Revs. C. R. Golphin, W. S. Higgins, J. E. Garrett, L.W. Gawdy and W. E. Farmer. During this period, the church continued to grow and increased in membership.
From 1907 – 1949
In 1907, with Rev. A. W. Womak, as pastor, the building was enlarged to accommodate the congregation. Some of the families belonging to Macedonia during the early 1900s were the Bests, Dopson, Allen, Dix, Milledge, Moore, McGrady, Charlton, Jones’ and Glovers. A number of distinguished CME ministers served during these years. Some of them were the Revs. J. A. Scott, W. M. Marina, C. W. Crawford, M. L. Breeding, J. B. Royal, J. H. Thomas, H. W. Evans, W. W. Thomas, J. A. Davis, O. R. Jackson, S. B. Doyle, G. M. Griffin, J. B. Smith, W. M. Logan, W. P. Perkins, M. A. Davis, W. G. Garvin, J. A McAdams, L.R. Brown and W. P. Bigby. In 1942, Rev. C. D. Price came to minister and served for two years and passed away while serving. The conference appointed Rev. O. R. Bell to complete the conference year. He served about three months and suddenly passed also. In 1943 Rev. O. L. McCollough was appointed to serve. Under his pastoral leadership, the church paid off some old debts and purchased materials to remodel and enlarge the sanctuary. The work started but money ran out and the work stopped. Rev. McCollough served three years and moved on. He was followed by Revs. W. E. Wilson and R. I. Lewis who each stayed three years.
From 1950 – 1972
In 1950, the conference appointed Rev. Ernest McKay who completed the work which was begun in the leadership of Rev. McCollough. He also constructed a building to be used for Christian Youth Fellowship. Mrs. Ada Harley serves as the youth leader and served faithfully and diligently until her illness and death. In 1953, Rev. D .W. Royston was appointed by the conference which he stayed three years and was followed by Revs. Tonsil and W.D. Ridley. In 1958, Rev McKay returned and the membership began talking about building a new church and started formulating plans. After three years, Rev. McKay was reassigned and Revs. L.C. Gethers and B.J. Boozer pastored the next four years. During the 1960’s, Macedonia was served by a number of student ministers from Paine College. Among them was Rev. John Thompson, who stayed four years until his schooling was complete. He was followed by Rev. R. Richmond who stayed a few months and left. No one could be found to come to Macedonia and the conference sent Rev. W. M. Gladden, a retired CME minster who in spite of his advanced age (nearly 100) ministered for one year. In 1969, Rev. Kenneth McKindra, a Paine College student was appointed and served two years. Rev McKindra and a delegation of officers consisting of Bros. W.W. Heyward, Pearlstine Graham and others met with Bishop Henry Bunton to obtain the endorsement of the General Conference to build a church. The bishop approved the request and encouraged them to proceed. Rev. McKindra left before the end of the conference year and Elder W.R. Foushee completed the term. With the desire to build a new church being very strong, the congregation recognized they needed a strong leader. A delegation of members asked Rev. McKay to return with the consent of the conference. He agreed and The Presiding Elder Foushee consented. He was released from St. Peter CME in Walterboro, SC where he had completed a building project.
In January 1973, Rev McKay and a group of laborers began to tear down the old building and clear the area. Church services were held in the Allendale Lodge #53 building on Mill Street during the construction period. In June 1974, Rev. McKay and the church family marched in to the new building. The building was dedicated and the cornerstone was laid with the following officers, Rev. W. R. Foushee, Presiding Elder, Rt. Rev Henry Bunton, Presiding Bishop, Bro. W. W. Heyward, Bro. Pearlstine Graham, Bro. Angus Williams Sr., Bro. George Roberts, Bro. Andrew Sanders, Bro. Henry Singleton, Sis. Rebecca Harvey and Sis. Fannie Warner. It was a beautiful day of rejoicing and celebration. The church was obligated to a ten year mortgage. It was very difficult at times to meet the obligations but Rev. McKay stuck with the church during lean times, going without salary for months and giving the church much more monetarily than he received. In March 1983, Mrs. Rebecca Best Harvey paid off the remaining amount of the mortgage (6 months). On May 29, 1983, the mortgage was burned. Rev. McKay did not return to Macedonia at the end of the 1984 conference year. Rev. Hervis Williams, Jr. came and served for one year followed him. Rev. Matthew Thomas who served for one year followed him. Rev. Margaret Murdaugh who served for three years followed his term.
From 1988- Present
In 1988, Rev James Perry Jr. was sent to Macedonia and served eight years. Rev. Garfield Rogers was assigned to pastor our fold at the Annual Conference in July 1996. The church grew and added many new members under his leadership. Under his instruction and vision, we experienced continued spiritual growth. In July 2000, Macedonia was blessed with the assignment of Rev. David Edmond to serve as the shepherd for the Lord’s flock. During the years Rev. Edmond was with us, he implemented a church calendar and the reorganization of the Christian Education Board. With him we prayed that we may continue to lift God’s kingdom so that men may see our good works and glorify our Father which art in Heaven. Our motto was: “In all our works, let us acknowledge him, and He shall direct our path.”
Rev Michelle V. Williams now leads the flock. The church and Rev. Williams are excited about our journey with the Lord. Rev. Williams was assigned in the 2002 Annual Conference to us. Several ministries have begun or have been re-organized since her presence as our shepherd. During the 2007 year, our church family and friends said fare ye well to our last member whose name was listed on the cornerstone of our church in 1974 and the Father of the Church – Bro. Andrew Sanders. In 2008, our church family experienced a huge loss as the Mother of the Church - Sis. Bertha Johnson left us to receive her heavenly crown. Though our church family mourned, we continued to hold faithful to God’s unchanging hands.
Rev. Williams has been quite instrumental in organizing the youth choir and also encouraged the men of the church to begin a Men’s Choir. Under the leadership of Freddie W. Simmons and Robert Miller and with the musical assistance of Bro. James Davis and Sis. Carmela Simmons, the Male Chorus has continued for eleven years worshipping Christ through songs.
We have completed multiple renovations to the edifice including rebuilding the sanctuary floor, redoing the plumbing and completing the first of a three part project of stabilizing the building structure. During the past conference year, the church family obtained two adjacent lots next to the church. And due to the insight and talent of Bro. Kenneth Campfield with the assistance of Sis. Thonea Grant, we most recently have initiated a web site enabling us to reach out to and encourage others electronically.
We have always been blessed by the generosity of our church family members who have donated their time or resources to enhance the ministry. The blessings have included a van and furniture donated by the late Sis. Lou Grant, a refrigerator by Bro. Marion and Angela Grant, and church decorations by Sis. Rosa Grant who always especially beautifies our edifice at special events. This past conference year, Sis. Evelyn Grant donated hymnbooks for the church and Sis. Blondell Carter donated new candle lighting equipment for the acolytes. Our officers and members lend their hand toward helping others in whatever way they can. Macedonia is a fellowship that believes in blessing others and in doing so is always being blessed.
In March of 2013, the church family said goodbye to our church secretary of over 40 years and usher for over 50 years, Sis. Ella Mae Simmons. May her legacy continue to grow, in God and in Macedonia.
Rev. Williams and the church family believe that Macedonia is a vital part of the Allendale County. As instructed by the father of our faith, John Wesley we move to serve the condition of man doing all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as ever we can through Christ who enables us to do so. We have adopted a motto and we are pressing forward believing “The Best Is Yet To Come.”