Chiquola Baptist Church has a rich history that spans over a hundred and ten years, from humble beginnings as a small Sunday school class meeting under a grove of trees to an organized church in August of 1905.
On July 16, 1905, Rev. R.W. Burts felt led to organize a Baptist church on the second Sunday in August. On August 13, 1905, Chiquola Baptist church was organized with 32 people joining as charter members and R.W. Burts was elected as first pastor.
In 1907, having no formal church building in the Chiquola section of town, the management of Chiquola Manufacturing Co. decided to build a community church in front of the Mill. The church was called the "Union Church" and for 17 years, all denominations met there on different Sundays. We were blessed to have many men serve as part-time pastors from 1905 to 1941.
In 1923, after 17 years of worship at the Union Church, Rev. J. A. Marlar, as pastor, led a movement to build a Baptist church. The property was secured from the mill and was located at the corner of Louisiana Street and Maryland Avenue. The church membership was 169. The first service was held on May 6, 1924 and the building was dedicated on August 2, 1924.
The church voted in 1941 to become a full time church and Rev. Roy Q. Gregg was called as the first full time pastor. He served from 1941 to 1944. Rev. Paul M. Sayer served as pastor from January 1945 to May 1948 and Rev. R.S. Wheeler served as pastor from October 1948 to December 1956.
Rev. Kenneth Joner pastored from 1957 to 1961, during his leadership the members chose to relocate to a larger tract of land on Laurel Street. On January 18, 1959, the church was dedicated and served as our church until August 18, 1996 when services moved to the present Worship Center on East Greer Street.
Rev. Jack Weaver and Rev. W.C. Hill pastored from 1961 to 1972. Rev. Chasteen was called as pastor in 1974 and served until 1977. Under his ministry, a children's church program was started and the Chiquola Child Development Center was established. This ministry was later expanded under Dr. Jerry White to include a Christian School for grades K4 thru grade 6. These ministries were closed in September 2003.
Rev. Darrell Brooks pastored from 1977 until 1983 and led the church in establishing a Chiquola Baptist Mission. A ministry serving the Boy's home of the South was begun in June 1978.
Dr. Jerry White was called as pastor in 1984 and served until 1998. Under Dr. White's capable leadership, membership and attendance grew, many revivals were held, mission trips were taken and vacation Bible schools were held. Recognizing the need to expand and believing it was God's will for growth, the opportunity arose to purchase a little over 4 acres, which housed the Old Belk and Winn Dixie property. Once again, Chiquola demonstrated faith and vision with the purchase of this property. A master plan for the renovation of the building was adopted on March 13, 1994. On August 18, 1996, the church made the memorable journey across the parking lot, to the new Chiquola Baptist Worship Center on East Greer Street.
Dr. David L. Tyler served as pastor from August 1998 until May 2001. Under his leadership, the front of the Worship Center and Winn Dixie building were completed.
Rev. Ty Childers was elected pastor on May 26, 2002 and served until November 2007. Under his leadership the Worship Center was renovated beginning in April of 2006 and on Homecoming, August 13, 2006, the Worship Center was dedicated.
Rev. Ronnie Powell began his tenure on November 29, 2009. Under his leadership, the mission of the church has been expanded to include Mission trips and increasing service to the people of the community.
God has truly blessed and honored Chiquola Baptist Church through the years since 1905. Many of it's young men and women have been called into full time Christian service.
In the fall of 1905, under the direction of Mrs. Mike McGee, the Women's Missionary Union was organized. God has blessed the efforts of WMU through various mission projects and activities.
Chiquola has had an active Men's Ministry since being organized in 1941. Today this ministry serves the people in our church and community with construction and installation of handicap ramps, steps and hand rails as well as other services.
The Music Program has always been strong since the beginning. The first organized choir was started by Mrs. R.S. Wheeler in 1948-49. Today, under the leadership of Donnie Smith, the music is still a major part of our worship services.
Our prayer is that everyone will remember the past and present and look forward to the future of Chiquola Baptist Church. Great things are ahead for the church as she continues to carry the Torch for The Lord Jesus Christ. The church's one purpose is to present the gospel to the community of Honea Path and the surrounding area so that Christ will be lifted up and people will be drawn unto Him. May many more souls come to faith in Jesus Crist through the efforts of these His humble people.