Cedar Creek residents to preserve church

BLYTHEWOOD – After 274 years, it was announced in June, 2017, that the doors of the historic Cedar Creek Methodist Church would close. A final service was held on May 6, 2018, under a canopy outside the building.

Blythewood artist Harold Branham captured the historic Cedar Creek church on canvas.

The closure was the will of the S. C. United Methodist Conference, which owns the church and the property it sits on. The service was billed as a celebration, but for the descendants of the families who had attended the little church all their lives, and who wanted to keep it open for the community, it was a sad occasion.

They wanted to know what would happen to the building. Would the Conference sell the property? Could the Cedar Creek families continue to use the church for weddings and other special occasions? Who would pay for the upkeep?

While a resolution affirmed by the Conference included a clause recommending the property be preserved because of its historical significance, there were no guarantees.

“While I really can’t comment on things I don’t have power over, I can make recommendations,” Rev. Cathy Jamison, a former pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Blythewood and the current Columbia District Superintendent and Secretary to the Cabinet of the S.C. United Methodist Conference said. “Unfortunately there’s not a stockpile of money for the preservation of the building so that would have to be a community fundraising effort. The plan for the future of the property is evolving,” Jamison said.

But the Cedar Creek community was not without resolve and resources to save their beloved church.

“When we learned that the historical landmark was about to be decommissioned,” said Bill DuBard, a descendant of one of Cedar Creek’s early families whose history intertwined with the church, “we acted quickly to set in motion a process whereby we could preserve the church for the community, perhaps as a wedding venue or for other community events.”

Margaret DuBard, Bill DuBard’s wife, said the boards of the Blythewood and Upper Fairfield County Historical Societies were supportive of preserving the church as well as the cemetery.

“We incorporated the Cedar Creek Historical Association and began seeking a charter as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to achieve the mission of the Association,” DuBard said.

A board was formed and Bill DuBard was named president. Other members include Raymond Hendrix, Sandra jones and John Fogle.

For the past six months the board has worked to establish the legal status necessary to protect the ownership of the church as well as preserve buildings, documents and sites of historical interest to the community.

Now they are seeking members who will share and support their vision with both financial and time donations.

The following schedule offers basic donation levels:

Founding lifetime members – a one-time gift of $1,000

Legacy members – $250 annually

Stewardship members $150 annually

Family membership – $100 annually

Individual members – $50 annually

DuBard said, however, that there are many other ways to help as well, including volunteer work and donation of preservation materials.

For more information about the Association or to join, email: [email protected].

Blythewood artist Harold Branham created a 16 x 20 print of the church on canvas that is available for sale and can be seen in the lobby of the Community Bank at the corner of Blythewood Road and Main Street. For more information, conatact Branham at 348-7773.

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