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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR MT. CARMEL BAPTIST CHURCH IN BEAUFORT COUNTY AND TO CONGRATULATE THE CONGREGATION FOR ONE HUNDRED FIFTY YEARS OF FAITHFUL MINISTRY IN THE DALE COMMUNITY.
Whereas, the South Carolina House of Representatives is pleased to learn that Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, which began in 1869 as Keans Neck Baptist Church when a group of recently freed slaves gathered in a brush arbor to worship God, will celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2019; and
Whereas, from humble beginnings, the church in Dale guided by Beaufort's Tabernacle Baptist Church numbered two hundred thirty members, and Reverend D. W. Blythewood served as its pastor; and
Whereas, Reverend S. H. Chisolm served as the first resident pastor from 1882 to 1923, and under his leadership, the first sanctuary was built and dedicated as Mt. Carmel Baptist, and several early deacons became licensed ministers known as Sons of Mt. Carmel; and
Whereas, Reverend Peter W. Maxwell filled the pulpit until his death in 1932, followed by Reverend S. T. Bobian who served faithfully until his death in 1939. He was succeeded by Reverend J. E. Johnson who served until 1945; and
Whereas, Reverend J. W. Barnwell was called to pastor the church, and under his leadership, a new sanctuary was built in 1952, which now serves as the fellowship hall, and church membership and Sunday school participation increased. He served the community as a civil rights leader, promoting voter registration and helping to secure Greyhound Bus Company service to Dale residents; and
Whereas, Reverend Reuben Dicks, a respected educator in Beaufort County, followed in 1973, and new ministries were begun, and a new wing was added to the church, as well as a pastor's study. Reverend Elijah Singleton, noted for inspiring singing, was called as pastor in 1981, and under his leadership, an organ was purchased and the church structure was bricked in; and
Whereas, in 1988, Reverend James E. Moore became the pastor, and the church began having worship every Sunday, communion once a month, prayer meeting on Tuesdays, and Bible study on Thursdays. Sunday school and church attendance grew significantly, and a year later, Reverend J. Ruben Edwards joined him as assistant pastor. The public-address system was improved, and the Gospel Choir and the Brotherhood and Trustee ministries were begun; and
Whereas, in 1990, an annual church picnic and Men's Day Program were added, the Hurricane Hugo Relief Fund was established, and a cemetery plan was adopted. In 1993, property was acquired for a new sanctuary, the Food Share/Adopt-A-Highway Program was established, along with support for foreign missions in the Philippines and a local radio broadcast on WVGB; and
Whereas, on the church's one hundred twenty-ninth anniversary in 1998, a new sanctuary was dedicated, and only four-and-a-half years later, the church celebrated with a mortgage burning; and
Whereas, in 1999, the end of the millennium, the church looked back by dedicating its first stained-glass windows in memory of departed loved ones, and looked forward with the establishment of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Scholarship Fund, the first scholarships being awarded to five church youths in 2003; and
Whereas, the twenty-first century inaugurated new ministries, such as the purchase of radio station 94.5 (WVGB), and the addition of several ministers to the staff. The old sanctuary was converted to a new fellowship hall with a food pantry, larger banquet facility, commercial-kitchen appliances, classrooms, storage areas, and more modern restrooms, and in 2011, a computer lab with eight work stations and internet access was established; and
Whereas, through a century and a half of changes within the church, the most important work remains the same: the members of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church continue to pray to God Almighty and sing praises to His name. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, recognize and honor Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Beaufort County and congratulate the congregation for one hundred fifty years of faithful ministry in the Dale community.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Reverend J. E. Moore.
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