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MT. OLIVET LUTHERAN CHURCH

SPRING HILL

CHAPIN, SOUTH CAROLINA

Use these records in your research but, please, do not publish without permission of the chapter.

In May 1873 a small group of South Carolina Lutherans of German descent gathered with their pastor, Rev. William Alexander Houck, to dedicate their newly-completed church. Located in the heart of the Dutch Fork in the old settlement of Spring Hill, four miles east of Chapin on Highway 176. Many had been attending other Lutheran churches but in horse and buggy days transportation was difficult.


By 1873 Spring Hill had grown to a flourishing spot on the map. Businesses included a grist mill, flour mill, cotton gin and blacksmith shop, all located down on Wateree Creek. Across from the church, bordering on Old State Road was a two story general store which housed the Post Office. (Mr. W. Sanford Eleazer, a charter member of Mt. Olivet was the store keeper.) Next door to the church was country doctor, J. W. Willingham who served the community for miles around. Located back in the woods about a quarter of a mile was Spring Hill Academy, a very fine school that attracted scholars from a wide area.

The task of building the new church continued for more than two years. Mr. Robert J. Eleazer gave two acres of land for the church. His farm and land joined the church land.

Church records indicate there were forty two charter members of Mt. Olivet with five other persons joining within a short time after the dedication. No records were found for the very beginning of the church's organization. The earliest book known to exist dates from 1878. The first record of church members does not state which persons were charter members but it is possible to tell by the way the names and dates were recorded.

Mt. Olivet was constructed of simple pine in a rectangular shape. It did not have a steeple in 1873. The main entrance was sheltered by a recessed shallow porch, flanked on either end by a single small enclosed room. Against the wall in the middle of the porch was a "crying bench" to which mothers with fretful babies were expected to retire during preaching.

From the porch, two separate doors opened into the church and led down two aisles which separated the squarish box pews into three sections. It was customary for the men to sit in the left section, the women on the right with the children, and the mid section was used by those families who preferred to sit together.

Records indicate that Pastor Houck became very ill the latter part of 1873 and resigned his work. He died in February 1874 at the age of 47 at his wife's family homestead in Orangeburg, County. Pastor Houcks body was returned to the Dutch Fork and buried at St. Michael's Churchyard..

For the next 100 years Mt. Olivet was served by some very prominent ministers, their accomplishments too numerous to mention in this short history.

In 1973 this church at Spring Hill was the oldest church building in the Dutch Fork in active use. (Old St. John's, Pomaria is still standing but is no longer used for church activities.)

CHARTER MEMBERS

Porter Bickley,  H. E. Bickley, Miss Maggie Bouknight, E. Artemis Bouknight, Mrs. Mary A. Eargle, John M. Eleazer, Mrs Nancy Eleazer, Robert J. Eleazer, W. Sanford Eleazer, Mrs Nancy E. Ellisor, Henry J. Fulmer, Mrs. Nancy Ellen Fulmer, Miss Elizabeth E. Fulmer, John E. Fulmer and wife Martha M. Fulmer, Albert A. Guise, David Haltiwanger, Jacob E. Haltiwanger, John S. Haltiwanger, Miss Mary Catherine Haltiwanger, Miss Louisa R. Julien, Mrs. Frances Koon, Walter Kesler and wife Amanda M. Kesler, Mrs. Samantha E. Lemmon, Miss Barbara Richardson, Mrs. Carolina Richardson, Jacob L. Richardson, James A. Richardson, Job W. Richardson, David A. Richardson and wife Julia A. Richardson, Mrs. Louise F. Riddle, James Belton Shealy, John A. Shealy, John Calvin Shealy, Mrs. Mary A. Shealy, Paul Shealy, Samuel D. Shealy and wife Sarah E. Shealy, Mrs. Susan N. Shealy, Miss Missouri Tucker.

OTHERS WHO JOINED SHORTLY AFTER DEDICATION

Mrs. Frances Eleazer

Mrs, Isabella Eleazer

Mrs. Lavinia Eleazer

John Frick

 Miss Amanda V. Metz

PASTORS WHO SERVED MT. OLIVET THE FIRST 100 YEARS

1. William Alexander Houck, Founding Pastor ................................... Early 1871-December 1873

2. George William Holland, Supply..................................................... Early 1874-September 1874

3. Emanuel A. Wingard, Student Supply......................................................................... latter 1874

4. Levi Bedenbaugh, Supply....................................................................... Early 1875-Spring 1876

5. Jacob H. Hawkins............................................................................. April 1876-November 1878

6. Jefferson A. Sligh?, Supply? ................................................................................................ 1879

7. Peter Miller ........................................................................................ December 1879-latter 1883

8. Jacob Schaeffer Moser ........................................................................ Spring 1884-August 1885

9. J. H. Summit, Supply ................................................................................. latter 1885-early 1886

10. John Eusebius Berly .............................................................................. August 1886-July 1890

11. Andrew Jackson Bowers, Supply............................................................................... 1890-1891

12. Willis Alexander Deaton ................................................................. June 1891-November 1893

13. Henry Antine McCullough, Supply ..................................................................................... 1894

14. Sidney C. Ballentine ............................................................................... June 1894-March 1905

15. Jesse Bowman Haigler ................................................................ October 1905-December 1912

16. Verley Lorenzo Fulmer ..................................................................... February 1913-April 1915

17. Henry Smith Petrea ............................................................................. May 1915-October 1918

18. William Addison Dutton ................................................................... March 1919-October 1921

19. Julian Bachman Harman ............................................................. January 1922-December 1922

20. Edgar Zirkle Pence ....................................................................... February 1925-October 1928

21. Thomas Harmon Weeks.................................................................... May 1929-December 1938

22. John Shelton Moose................................................................ September 1939-December 1943

23. James Kenneth Webb ........................................................................... May 1944-August 1950

24. Paul Harold Heisey, Supply............................................................. October 1950-January 1951

25. Voigt Keisler Kleckley..................................................................... January 1951-August 1952

26. George Calvin Kahl.......................................................................... June 1953-December 1954

27. Paul Owens Slice, Student Supply ........................................................ June 1955-August 1955

28. William V. McCray....................................................................... September 1955-March 1957

Posted 5 November 2004

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Last updated 24 November 2018


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