South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Unity Baptist Church, Lancaster County (Sumter & Hart Streets, Kershaw)
S1081772902401 S1081772902402 S1081772902403
Facade Tower Detail Interior, Sanctuary

Unity Baptist Church was built in 1910. Its congregation was an outgrowth of Kershaw’s First Baptist Church and it was the second separate black church established in Kershaw in the early twentieth century. It is significant both as a particularly intact example of Gothic Revival church architecture common in the period and as an example of early twentieth century institutions in Kershaw’s black community. The congregation was organized in November 1909 and originally met in members’ homes. The congregation occupied this sanctuary, built by Deacon George L. Shropshire, a local carpenter and contractor, in April 1910. Reverend A.W. Hill, while still a student at Benedict College in Columbia, became Unity’s first full-time minister in 1911. His successor, Reverend L.C. Jenkins, was the first pastor to occupy the parsonage adjacent to the church, built ca. 1922. The interior of the church is intact with beaded board wainscotting and ceiling. There is a coved ceiling in the sanctuary, and the pulpit and choir areas are raised from the floor and sanctuary. Original hanging light fixtures still exist. Two outbuildings are included within this nomination: the church’s parsonage and its privy. Listed in the National Register February 16, 1990.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of Lancaster County, ca. 1745-ca. 1940 includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.

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