Longtown Presbyterian Church Celebrates 130 Years

Longtown Presbyterian Church members gather after Sunday’s celebration.

Longtown Presbyterian Church, located just 8 miles from the town of Ridgeway, hosted a Palmetto Presbytery meeting on Oct. 25 with light refreshments of ham biscuits and fruit in the morning, followed by a supper in the afternoon. The meal was catered by church members and owners of Lake Wateree’s Colonel Creek Grill, David and Marsha Pressley. The buffet consisted of barbecue, fried chicken, baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, hush puppies and desserts. More than 100 men and spouses came from Myrtle Beach, North Augusta, Charleston, Columbia and Fairfield County to attend this meeting. Pastor Gary Bainton of the Longtown church led the worship service with Pastor Kevin Thumpston, former pastor of the church, preaching the sermon.

Following this event, the members celebrated the anniversary of their small but friendly church. Organized in 1882, they celebrated their 130th year anniversary on Nov. 11 with a service and supper. The sermon that day was given by retired pastor Joe Beale, a former Longtown Presbyterian church pastor who was also well known as a pastor of the Aimwell church for 10 years. Following the church service with a patriotic theme, the event was topped off with a covered dish supper. The 52 folks present enjoyed such foods as fried chicken, turkey and ham with potato salad, deviled eggs, mac ‘n cheese, three-bean salad, green salad and corn, okra and spinach dishes. The dessert table held a large decorated cake that read “Longtown Presbyterian serving GOD for 130 years,” as well as key lime pie, cheesecake, red velvet cake and many others. In areas of the room there were displays with scrapbooks, albums, newspaper clippings and photos telling the history of the church over the years.

The original members of the church, farmers, merchants and lumbermen, built the wooden structure across from the old Peay Plantation, where the road was still a dirt trail with Indians camped nearby. The original foundation of the plantation remains in the woods to this day. The foyer and concrete front steps were added at a later date and the building was underpinned. An old stove stood in the corner of the church but was eventually replaced with gas heaters. Over time the old pump organ was electrified and windows and doors were weather stripped. The original windows came from the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia that was burned when Sherman and his army came through. Until its completion the congregation worshipped in the old schoolhouse on the property behind the church. After the destruction of the schoolhouse, the old school bell was encased in a wooden display outside the church entrance. The bell was manufactured in the early 1900s and the housing for the bell, built in 1991, was a gift to the church in memory of long-time church member Billy Stewart by his wife Frances Stewart. The church’s fellowship hall is an old barracks brought in from a fort and has recently been expanded to include an office for Pastor Bainton.

Congratulations to Longtown Presbyterian Church on their 130 year anniversary.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]