Historical Sketch of Seekwell Baptist Church
As a refuge for families to gather and uplift the name of the Lord, people began to meet on a regular basis, in a bush harbor in 1867. This is the early establishment of the Seekwell Baptist Church. This early church was located on Tyger River which was in Union County. The church was organized for the convenience of African Americans living in the vicinity of Maybinton, Goshen Hill, Tuckertown and from other surrounding plantations.
Two acres of land were given by Mr. James Henderson for the site of the church across the road.
The State of South Carolina
Know all Men by these Presents that James M. Henderson of Newberry County in the
State aforesaid, in consideration of the interest and good will,
Which U gave for the membership of Seekwell Baptisht Church
Located near Maybinton in Newberry County in the State aforesaid
Have granted, bargained, sold and released by the presents do grant bargain
Sell and release unto, Dan Clark, Thomas Eigner, Joseph Maffett and Anderson Chick.
Or Trustees of the said church or their Successors Two acres of land
Situated in the County and State aforesaid and bounded by the land of
Charity Whitener on the North and by the land of J. M. Henderson on the South and East
And by the public road from Maybinton to Newberry by Brazelmans Ferry on the West and is known as
Government land, Moorman and Bean tracts to 3 and 4.
The church called Rev. Edison Greenwood to serve as the first pastor. Some of the first Deacons and Trustees are as follows: Deacon Billie Means, Deacon Warren Gilliam, Deacon Joe Matthews, and Deacon Cliff Lyles. Trustee Anderson Chick, Trustee Dan Clark, Trustee Thomas Eigner and Trustee Joseph Matthews.
The church was first renovated in 1948 under the leadership of Reverend Johnny Liggins. Active deacons were James L. McClurkin, Nathan Dawkins, Richard Dawkins, I. S. Douglas, S. C. Means, C. Hodges, Jessie Jeter, and J. B. Suber.
In the early years, baptism took place in the creek in close proximity of the church. The outside pool was constructed in the mid 1930’s and the new baptism pool was constructed inside the church in the mid 1960’s.
In 1968, during the tenure of Rev. James W. Sanders the church was remodeled with brick veneers. Deacons were Shealy Means, Willis Clark, Yancy Dawkins, Curtis Hodges, Wade Hunter, Knowledge Renwrick, Clarence Sims, and George McClurkin. The secretary was Sis. Dorothy Rayford.
In 1982 the fellowship hall was added to the church. Reverend James Taylor was pastor during this time. Deacon Yancy Dawkins was Chairman and the Secretary of was Sis. Joycelan Tucker.
Seekwell went under construction in 1989 updating the front of the church, the choir stands, and the sanctuary. Rev. William E. Clark was pastor and Rev. Dolphus Rayford was the associate pastor. Deacons were Yancy Dawkins, Chairman, Wade Hunter, Co-Chairman, Willis Clark, Allen Gibson, George McClurkin, Bibion Hodges, Willie Whitener, and Bennie Dawkins. Sunday School Superintendent was Bro. George Jeffries and Sunday School secretary was Sis. Willie Mae Gray. Church secretary was Sis. Doretha Simpson and the financial secretary was Bro. James Sanders Jr.
Over the years, numerous ministers served as pastors blessing Seekwell with the word of God. The pastors were Rev. Eison Greenwood, Rev. D. Gordon, Rev. Nickel, Rev. Tobin, Rev. Clark, Rev. Michael, Rev. Knofft, Rev. Hall, Rev. Abney, Rev. Ingram, Rev. Carter, Rev. Wilk, Rev. Pratt, Rev. J. Liggins, Rev. E. Bell, Rev. Harris, Rev. W. H. Scurry, Rev. J. W. Sanders, Rev. W. T. Boggs, Rev. J. Taylor, Rev. J. W. Wright, Rev. W. E. Clark, and Rev. J. King. The last ten pastors are in chronological order.
Some of the previous trustees were Charles McClurkin Sr., Lee Henderson, Cleve Tally, George McClurkin Sr., John W. Thomas, Robert Henderson Sr., Bibion Hodges Sr., Carl Suber and Julius Titus. Some of the former secretaries were Amanda Clark, Daisy Clark, Lugenia McClurkin, Marie Clark, Irene Chick, Dorothy Rayford, Joycelan Tucker and Doretha Simpson.
Reverend Tonnie L. Collins was the pastor of Seekwell Baptist Church for thirteen years. Under his leadership the associate pastor was Rev. Dolphus Rayford. Associate Mnisters were Minister Tommy Lawson Sr., Minister George Jefferies, Minister Sandra Worthy and Rev. Tonya Sartor. Rev. Tommy Lawson, Sr. and Rev. Tonya Sartor were ordained by The New Enoree E. & M. Baptist Association during Rev. Collins’ tenure as our pastor.
In 2005, Deacon Boisy Shelton learned of eight acres of land that was purchased by the church for the new building project. The building project lasted four years and we entered the new sanctuary under the leadership of Rev. William E. Rice on June 26th 2016. Rev. Rice was installed on July 3, 2016. Several new ministries have been implemented under the leadership of Rev. Rice: Women’s Ministry, Couples Ministry and Men’s Ministry.
Seekwell Baptist Church is steadily growing under the leadership of Pastor William E. Rice. The hard work and dedication of Rev. and Mrs. Rice give evidence of their commitment to the Seekwell Baptist Church family and its growth. “To God Be the Glory”!