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Our History

The First Baptist Church of Saluda was originally founded in 1888, and was known as Saluda Baptist Church. The history of the church has had many interesting periods and events that have been instrumental in forming the present culture and structure of the church. The following is a brief, but enlightening story of this small mountain church.


The town of Saluda was organized in 1881, and the need for a church as soon recognized. Ransom W. Pace donated the land for the church, along with $100 for the first building. On June 15, 1888, the church was organized with twenty-eight charter members. James Blythe, an elder in the church, was called as the first pastor of the church. Reverend Blythe was seventy-nine years old at his calling. Reverend Blythe ministered at the church for eight years. After Reverend Blythe left, there was a period of four years that the church was without a pastor. During this period, Reverend J. A. Staton supplied as interim pastor.


Soon after the church was organized, the need for a building led to the construction of the first building. The original building was built by four church deacons (Fillmore Arledge, Bob Summey, Ed Guice, and Andrew Bullard) and dedicated on October 31, 1894. It is now being used as a private residence and is located at the top of Church Street on the right. The first structure at the present location is what is now the fellowship hall. This structure was dedicated in 1956. The current sanctuary was finished and dedicated on February 5, 1961. It was since redecorated and rededicated on March 3, 1996. 


Over the years the church has gone through several transitions. Beginning with its formation in 1888, the church had steady, but slow growth for the next seventy-one years. Beginning in 1959, the church began to see a great number of baptisms and other additions, but it was evident that these additions did not result in producing lasting disciples. While many people were joining the church, nearly as many either dropped out or left the church. In June 2008, Saluda First began to put into place a process to better develop disciples that prayerfully will "close the back door" of the church.

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