Members of the oldest black church in the Columbia area gathered Monday to unveil a historical marker on the church property. / Ivory Hecker
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The statement on the marker at Zion Chapel Baptist Church No. 1 reads:
"This African-American church was organized ca. 1865 when four men left Sandy Level Baptist Church, founded before the Revolution with both white and black members, to form their own congregation. They elected Rev. Joe Taylor as their first pastor and held early services in a brush arbor nearby. The first permanent church here, a log building, was replaced by a frame church 1907-1922, during the pastorate of Rev. T. H. McNeal. It was covered in brick veneer in 1941, then extensively renovated 1964-1978, during the pastorate of Rev. A.J. Grove, Sr. The historic church cemetery dates to the 1880s."
The church sponsored the research and dedication of the marker. According to the church pastor, it is the oldest black church in the Columbia area.
Source: Fox | MidlandsConnect | Ivory Hecker