On Sunday, September 29, 2013, First Baptist of Charleston, South Carolina will celebrate 331 years of service. The congregation was formed in Kittery, Maine in 1682 and moved to Charleston in 1696. In 1699 Mr. Elliott gave the property where the church is located. There has been a Baptist church on the site since 1701.

It is inspiring to think about all those who have worshiped here and the lives that have touched.  Everything of importance in early Baptist history happened here. Before the Civil War there were over 200 Black children in Sunday school. During that time there were more Black members than there were white members. After the Civil War those members were invited to stay and many did until their deaths.

Richard Furman is the most famous of its pastors. John A. Hamrick is the most important pastor since the Civil War. Dr. Hamrick established the day school and was the founding president of what is now Charleston Southern University.

The church has practiced open communion since its founding. The church is home to what is known as the Charleston Tradition which refers to formal worship and educated clergy. The major contributions of the church are Christian education and sending members into the ministry.

The church as established a reputation for its classical music in worship program undergirded by a talented volunteer choir now under the direction of David Templeton. That music will be a vital part of the anniversary celebration at 11 o’clock on June 29th.