About Us

Everything has a beginning. The association began with the representatives of the Colored Baptist Churches meeting at Mount Tabor Church, one and a half miles from the Anderson Court House, in accordance with a resolution of the Union Meeting, for the purpose of forming an Association. Three years following the ending of the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves this great association was formed and called the Rocky River Colored Baptist Association. A Constitution, Rules of Decorum and Abstract of Principles were unanimously adopted.

Election of officers was the next order of business. Rev. Franklin S. Morris, Moderator; Napoleon B. Gillard, Clerk; and Hiram B. Greenlee, Assistant Clerk and Treasurer. Objection: was made to Rev. Franklin S. Morris taking the Chair as Moderator, and the objection appearing to be well-grounded, he was requested to decline the position. This he refused to do, when, on motion, the election of Moderator was reconsidered, and Rev. Gabriel Pool was elected.

The introductory sermon was preached, according to previous arrangement, by Rev. Gabriel Pool, from Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me."

It was resolved that the Association be divided into three Union Meeting Districts: First District -New Prospect of Laurens, Washington, Greenville Court House, Brushy Creek and Pilgrim. Second District -Wilson's Creek, Pleasant Grove, Welfare, Mount Zion, Liberty and Williamston. Third District Mountain Springs, Mount Abel, Mount Tabor and Parker's Church.

The second anniversary program was held at Mount Zion Baptist church in Belton on August 13th and 14th 1869. Rev. Franklin S. Morris was elected Moderator; Napoleon B. Gillard, Clerk; Hiram B. Greenlee, Assistant Clerk and-Treasurer.

Records of organization and meetings of the Rocky River Colored Baptist Association were silent until the seventh anniversary which was held with Label Church, Pickens County on August 14th and 15th, 1874.

In 1875, the Association was held with New Light Church, Anderson County on August 13th and 14th. Which was the eighth anniversary? On the tenth anniversary the association was held with Flat Rock Church, Oconee County, on August 17th and 18th, 1877. "In 1878, the eleventh anniversary was held with Mountain Spring Church, Anderson County. In 1879, the twelfth anniversary was held with Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Anderson County.

In 1879, Rev. Franklin S. Morris (for whom Morris College in Sumter, S.C. is named) was Moderator; Napoleon B. Gillard, Clerk; and W.R. Redman, Assistant Clerk and Treasurer. '

Twenty-six churches were in the association when it met in 1880 at Mt. Abel Baptist Church. In 1880 the idea of erecting a high school in the County was advanced by the late Dr. H. Watkins, that the young men and young women of the association might have a chance to finish high school.

In spite of the lack of financial assets a budget of $1,000 was accepted to purchase land and a building. The aspirations and dreams were realized. Twenty-two acres of land were purchased. A large two-story frame building was erected.

This building housed the girls who boarded. Contained also, office space, classrooms, kitchen and a dining area. A one story frame building served as a Home Economics classroom, a two-story brick building was built to house male boarding students, and to serve as classrooms.

Hundreds of men and women were given their start to education because of Union High School.

As educational opportunities became more plentiful in each town, the need for the school decreased and consequently the school was closed.

In 1882, the association's name was changed to Rocky River Baptist Association. Also, in that same year the Educational and Sunday School Convention was organized with J.E. Earl, President; F.J. Washington, Secretary.

In 1883, the sixteenth session was held at New Mt. Pisgah with the following persons elected to positions: A. Walker of Equality, S.C. Moderator, E.V. Gassaway of Belton, S.C., Clerk and S. Mattison of Honea Path, S.C. as Treasurer. The executive committee was composed of A. Walker, S. Oliver, D. Haygood, H. Watkins, A.B. Lewis and F.S. Morris and E. Terrel.

New Olive Grove of Pickens County was found to be orthodox and thus voted into the association.

A resolution by J.C. Thomas was heartily received, and the report on State Missions was received.

These should prove to be two interesting documents and are thus printed in the history as taken from the records of 1883.

New Hope Baptist Church was the meeting place for the 17th session of the Rocky River Association meeting 14, 1984. The following resolution is one of interest:

Whereas, we have seen the imperative necessity of a Normal School being erected in the county for the good of our young men and women, and feeling that such a' school would be the means of giving, our people a more general education; and, whereas, we feel that such a school would be of an inestimable value to us as a denominational and as citizens of Anderson County; and seeing the impossibility of founding such a school without union of effort, be it resolved.

First, that we pledge ourselves to not cease until we shall have established a school as above named.

Second, that said school shall be owned and controlled by the churches composing the Rocky River Association.

Third, that said school is not strictly denominational in aim, but that it gives a general education to the people.

Fourth, that said school be erected wherever this Association may direct.

Fifth, that we spare no means or efforts in effecting the enterprise, and in view of raising the amount necessary to complete the work, be it further resolved, that we raise, as early as possible, one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) to be used in buying the land and building the house.

Sixth, that in order to stimulate the enterprise, we ask the sisters and brethren of our churches to act as missionaries in their churches to raise, the money needed. (Seventh, that we empower the executive board to prosecute the work. '

Eighth, that we adopt the pledge system and ask each church to do her prorate share in raising the necessary amount, and that the board appoint a missionary to take this Association as a field, if necessary.

Ninth, that an advisory board be appointed, composed of three brethren from each Union, intellectually qualified for the work; said board to co-operate with our executive board, and these two bodies be empowered to call meetings and organize what is to be known as an Educational Society, and said society to meet as often as deemed necessary, and make such announcements as will best effect a success in the great work.

Rev. H. Watkins Chairman
A resolution from Bro. J.C. Thomas, Jr. providing that pastors hold only two (2) churches was received, but its adoption was lost.

At this 1885 association H. Watkins, E.V. Gassaway, F.J. Washington, E.S. Morris and S. Oliver were appointed to write a short history of the association for the 1886 meeting. These men must have failed in this assignment for there is no such historical report recorded in the minutes of 1886.

Note this resolution: Dear Brethren of the Rocky River Association, We the Educational and Sunday School Convention of Anderson County appoint T.G. Hill, L. Jones, A. Pinson, H. McGowan and R.F. La Roche, to meet with your Educational Board to assist you in your plans for founding a school in the county.

In 1886 the nineteenth session of the association was held with New Light Baptist Church, Anderson County. In 1887 the twentieth session ~as held with Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Anderson, S.C. In 1888, the association met with the Shiloh Baptist Church. S. Mattison (deceased) was replaced by S. Oliver as Treasurer. August 15 -18, 1889, the Twenty second session was held with Mountain Springs Baptist Church, Anderson, S.C. Rev. H. Watkins, Moderator;, Rev. E.V. Gassaway, Clerk; Rev. S. Oliver, Treasurer. The twenty-third session was held with Cedar Grove Baptist Church on August 14 -17, 1890.

On August 11, 12, and 13, 1891 the twenty-fourth session of the association was held with the St. Paul Baptist Church in Anderson City, S.C.

Mount Abel Baptist Church hosted the twenty-fifth session on August 16 -19, 1892, Rev. A. Walker, Moderator; Rev. E.V. Gassaway, Clerk; Rev. S: Oliver, Treasurer.

The twenty-six session was held with the Welfare Baptist Church on August 15 -18, 1893. New Mount Pisgah Baptist Church hosted the twenty-eighth session on August 13-15, 1895.

The twenty-ninth session was held with New Prospect Baptist Church on August 11 -13, 1896.

The thirtieth session was held 'with Mount Moriah Baptist Church on August 10 -12, 1897. On July 15 -17, 1899 the Thirty-second session was held with Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. On August 14 -16, 1900 the thirty-third session met with Pleasant Gove Baptist Church. Rev. A. Walker, Moderator; J.N. Jenkins, Clerk.

1910, the association met with the New Mount Pisgah Baptist Church. Rev. A. Walker, Moderator; W.L. Thomas, Clerk;

S. Oliver, Treasurer. On August 15 -17, 1911 the forty-four session of the association met with Welfare Baptist Church. Rev. S. Oliver, Moderator; E.L. Thomas, Clerk; R. Watkins, Treasurer. The forty-fifth session met with Ebenezer Baptist Church on August 13 -15, 1912. The forty-sixth session met with Holly Springs Baptist church in 1913.

Royal Baptist church was the place of the association in the year 1918. Officers were: S. Oliver, Moderator; E.L. Thomas, Clerk; R. Watkins, Treasurer'. The association met at Ever Green Church in the year 1923. Officers were: S. Oliver, Moderator; E.L. Thomas (deceased), Clerk; R. Watkins, Treasurer.

In 1936, the Rocky River Baptist Association met with the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. Officers were: S.C. Campbell, Moderator; J.C. Cowan, Vice-Moderator; H.R. Asbury, Clerk; Prof. A.C. Garrison, Asst. Clerk; N.E. Mattison, Treasurer.

The 1945 meeting, the seventy-seventh session met with Mount Moriah Church. Officers were: J.C. Cowan, Moderator; W.L. Zimmerman, Vice-Moderator, H.R. Asbury, Clerk; E.W. Dean, Asst. Clerk; and N.E. Mattison, Treasurer.

In 1948, the association met with Rock Hill Baptist Church. Officer~ were: J.C. Cowan, Moderator; W.L. Zimmerman, Vice Moderator; B.T. Sears, Clerk; Roscoe Butler, Asst. Clerk; N.E. Mattison, Treasurer. Mount Zion Baptist Church hosted the eighty-first annual session in 1949. Officers remained, the same.

New Olive Grove Baptist Church was host to the association in 1950. J.C. Cowans was Moderator; L.R. Best, Vice-Moderator; Roscoe Butler, Clerk; W.L. Zimmerman, Treasurer. In 1954, the association met with Welfare Baptist Church. Rev. W.L. Zimmerman was Moderator; N.E. Mattison, Treasurer. The theme for this session was "The Gospel of Christ. The cure for the World's Present Day Evils."

Mount Able Baptist Church was the place of the 1957 session of the Rocky River Association. W.L. Zimmerman, Moderator, L.R. Best, Vice Moderator, E.L. Sitton, Clerk; A.A. Martin, Assistant Clerk; N.E. Mattison, Treasurer. The Executive Board Members were: W.L. Zimmerman, L.R. Best, E.L. Sitton, A.A. Martin, N.E. Mattison, J.E. Ellis, O.S. Scott, J.S. Maddox, J.H. Russell, H.W.D. Stewart, N.W. Williams, U.G. Heard, J.H. Cowan (deceased), W.I. Peek, J.H. Ledbetter, and J.R. Brown.

The association met at the New Hope Church in 1959. Officers were: L.R. Best', Moderator; J.S. Maddox, Vice Moderator; W.L. Zimmerman, Moderator Emeritus, E.L. Sitton, Clerk; A.A. Martin, Assistant Clerk; N.E. Mattison, Treasurer.

The Ninety-second session met with Sweet Cannon Baptist Church, in 1960. Officers were: L.R. Best, Moderator; J.S. Maddox, Vice-Moderator; W.L. Zimmerman, Moderator 'Emeritus; A.A. Martin, Clerk; C.R. Lewis, Assistant Clerk; N.E: Mattison, Treasurer.

These officers were elected for 1960 1961. The Ninety-third session was held with Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1961. Mount Pleasant Church was host to the association in 1962. Officers were: J.S., Maddox, Moderator; M.P. Robertson, Vice Moderator~ A. A Martin,' Clerk; C.R. Lewis, Assistant Clerk; and M.B. Porter, Treasurer, L.W. Bennett, Choir Leader; Mrs. Inez Kay, Pianist; Joe S. Brown, Director of ushers. In 1963, the association met with Mountain Springs Church. Officers were: Rev. J.S. Maddox, Moderator; A.A. Martin, Clerk; C.R. Lewis, Assistant Clerk.

The Ninety-sixth session was held with Wilson Calvary Church in 1964. Officers were: J.S. Maddox, Moderator; M.P. Robertson, Vice-Moderator; A.A. Martin, Clerk; C.R. Lewis, Assistant Clerk, and M.B. Porter, Treasurer. A special report was imitated to develop the association property at Belton under the direction of Rev. J.S. Maddox.

The Rocky River Association Roster of Churches in the year 1965. Asbury Memorial, Cedar Grove, Evergreen, Ebenezer, King David, Generostee, Mount Abel, Mountain Spring, New Mount Pisgah, Mount Olive, Mount Moriah, Mount Zion, Mount Pleasant, Mount Hermon, New Holly Light, New Hopewell, New Mount Grove, New Prospect, New Friendship, Pleasant Grove, Pleasant View, Pleasant Hill, New Hope, Salem, Silver Spring, Springfield, Rock Hill, Saint Paul, Trinity, Royal, Welfare, Wilson Calvary, Holly Creek and Piney Grove.

A total of thirty-three churches had joined the association in 1965. That same year the Ninety-seventh session of the association was held with New Prospect Baptist Church. Officers were: J.S. Maddox, Moderator; M.P. Robertson, Vice-Moderator; A.A. Martin, Clerk; C.R. Lewis, Assistant Clerk; M.B. Porter, Treasurer. New Mount Pisgah Baptist Church hosted the next session which was the Ninety eighth session in 1966. 'Officers remained the same as previous year. In 1967, Gerierostee Baptist Church was host to the Ninety-ninth session. Officers remained the same, as previous year 1966.

The Centennial Session, (100) session was held at the Welfare Baptist Church, on August 5 -9, 1968. The Rev. J.S. Maddox, Moderator; Brother A.A. Martin, Clerk; Brother M.B. Porter, Treasurer. The association celebrated in a grand way. Activities were: The Honor Banquet on August 4, 1968; Woman's Auxiliary Night on August 5, 1968; Usher's Night -Tuesday, August 6, 1968; Youth Night, Wednesday, August.7j 1968. R8v. J.O. Rich was complimented for planning and engineering the grand occasion.

The One-Hundred-First Session was held with Piney Grove Baptist Church on August 12-13, 1969. The next session the One-Hundred-second session was held with Royal Baptist Church on August 11-12, 1970. Officers were: M.P. Robertson, Moderator; A.A. Martin, Clerk; M.B. Porter, Treasurer. The One-Hundred-Third session was held with Mount Zion Baptist Church on August 10-11, 1971. The One-Hundred-Fourth session was held with Silver Springs Baptist Church on August 15-16, 1972. Officers were: M.P. Robertson; C.R. Lewis, Vice Moderator; Martin, Clerk; R.H. Mitchell, Assistant Clerk; M.B. Porter, Treasurer. In 1973" the, association was held with Mount Moriah Baptist Church. Officers remain the same. The next session, the One-Hundred-Sixth session was held with New Hopewell Baptist Church on August 13-14; 1974. Officers were: M.P. Robertson, Moderator; C.R. Lewis, Vice-Moderator; A.A. Martin, Clerk; R.H. Mitchell, Assistant Clerk; M.B. Porter, Treasurer. Pleasant Hill Baptist Church hosted the One-Hundred-Seventh session on August 12th and 13th, 1975. Officers were the same as previous year, 1974. Various proposals were made to utilize the, property. During the 1975 session a consensus was reached to plan a mobile home park on a portion of the property. Also, plans were developed for a recreational and Christian educational center.

In 1976, the association met with Mount Pisgah Baptist Church on August 10-11, 1976. The association has consistently given its moral and financial support to Friendship, Benedict and Morris Colleges for many years. The following auxiliaries to the Rocky River Baptist association, carryon its missionary and educational activities.

Auxiliaries:
Three Unions:

  • Union Number One
  • Union Number Two
  • Union Number Three
  • The Woman's Auxiliary
Education
  • The Anderson County Congress of Christian Education
  • The Brotherhood of Anderson County
  • The Usher's Fellowship Convention

Mount Herman Baptist Church hosted the One-Hundred Ninth annual session on August 19th and 20th, 1977. Officers were: M.P. Robertson, Moderator; C.R. Lewis, Vice-Moderator; A.A. Martin, Clerk~; R.H. Mitchell, Assistant Clerk; and M.B. Poster, Treasurer. The 110th annual session was held with Mount Zion Baptist Church .in 1978. The 111th annual session was held with Mountain Springs Baptist Church on August 17th and 18th, 1979. The 114th annual session, as held with New Prospect Baptist Church on August 14th and 15th, 1981. The 115th annual session was, held with New Holly Light Baptist Church on August 13th and 14th, 1982. The next session which was the 116th session was held with Shiloh Baptist Church. Officers were: Dr. C.R. Lewis, Moderator; Rev. R.H. Mitchell, Vice-Moderator; William A. Everly, Jr., Clerk; rev. Wendell Cox, Assistant Clerk; A.A. Martin, Treasurer.

New Hope Baptist Church was host to the 117th annual session on August 16th and 17th, 1984. In 1985"the 118th annual session met with New Olive Grove Baptist Church. Officers were: Rev. R.H~ Mitchell, Moderator; Dr. E.F. Mathis, Vice-Moderator; William A. Everly, Jr. Clerk; Rev. Wendell Cox, Assistant Clerk; A.A. Martin, Treasurer. In 1986, the annual session met with' ~he Mount Moriah Baptist Church on August 15th and 16th. Officers remained the same as 2985. In 1987, the 120th annual session was held with the Welfare Baptist Church on August 19th and 20th. Officers were the same; the 121st annual session was held with Piney Grove Baptist Church on August 19th and 20th, 1988. Officers were: Rev. R.H. Mitchell, Moderator; Dr. E.F. Mathis, Vice-Moderator; Rev. Wendell Cox, Clerk; Michael Donald, Assistant Clerk; Ben Owens, Treasurer. In 1989, the 122nd annual ~session was held with New Jerusalem Baptist Church. Officers were: Rev. R.H. Mitchell, Moderator; Dr. E.F. Mathis, Vice-Moderator; Rev. Wendell Cox, Clerk; Rev. Stephon Gilliard, Assistant Clerk; Ben Owens, Treasurer.

In 1990, the 123rd annual session was held with New Prospect Baptist Church. Officers were: Dr. E.F. Mathis, Moderator; Rev. E.R. Scott, Vice-Moderator; Rev. S.B. Neely, Clerk; Rev. Stephon Gilliard, Assistant Clerk; Dea. Ben Owens, Treasurer. In 1991, the 124th annual session was held with Silver Springs Baptist Church. Officers were: Dr. E.F. Mathis, Moderator; Rev. E.R. Scott, Vice-Moderator; Rev. S.B. Neely, Clerk; Rev. Stephon Gilliard, Assistant Clerk; Dea. Ben Owens, Treasurer. (Rev. R.L. McGowan was recommended to be the Second Vice-Moderator).