Bamberg church began with a prayer 150 years ago

First Baptist Church of Bamberg marked a milestone in the church’s long history with the celebration of its 150th anniversary last November. It’s an achievement members say reflects the church’s faithfulness and dedication to God.

Pastor Brad Hudson said he is proud of how far the church has come. “There are not a lot of things that last 150 years. So I think it speaks of God’s faithfulness, but it also speaks of the folks who have been in the leadership of the church and their faithfulness to work for God’s purpose and plan for Bamberg through our church,” Hudson said.

“I think that they’ve been faithful. God has rewarded that for 150 years, and it’s our prayer that God’s going to continue to use us, hopefully, for another 150-plus years,” he said.

First Baptist Church of Bamberg was formed by 11 people on the night of Nov. 3, 1872, when those assembled prayed: “May the Lord make this little one a mighty one.”

J.F. Buist served as the first pastor of the church, which began as Bamberg Baptist Church. The name of the church was officially changed to First Baptist Church in 1951. Hudson said the church’s mission, however, has not changed.

“As long as we’re being a light to our community, loving and serving our community, God’s going to honor that. I don’t believe it’s a suggestion. It’s a command for us as a church to go to our community — and not just our community, but all the world, proclaiming Jesus as king,” the pastor said.

Church member Libby Marchant, 66, said she is impressed at how the church has adapted to change. “Isn’t it wonderful that the church has existed in this day and age? You think about the way our world is right now, and for it to have existed for 150 years” is remarkable, she said. “Of course, it’s like everything, it’s made changes throughout the years, but then we all have to adapt to our environment as it changes.”

She enjoys the closeness among the members. “I’ve been here all my life, 66 years, but I think it’s the fellowship and the friendship of all the people and all the relationships throughout the years,” she said.

— Dionne Gleaton is a staff writer with The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg. This story was adapted and used by permission.