History of the Church

The original Mt. Tabor Baptist Church was a wood framed structure erected in 1882.  The land for Mt. Tabor church by Lucien Hendricks.  Doc Chapman gave the lumber for the church.  Isaac Nimmons, Elizabeth Williams's grandfather, owned a sawmill and he was the one who sawed the lumber for the first church.  After the lumber was sawed, the men of the church got together and raised the church, similar to how a barn raising is done.

Doc Chapman was Lake Chapman's grandfather.  Lake recalls that every Saturday, he and his grandfather would come to the church and hang lanterns on the long beam that ran down the middle of the church.  They also hung the lanterns in each corner of the church.  They cleaned the lanterns on Saturday to get them ready for Sunday worship because they did no work on Sunday!  On Sunday morning before worship they would light the lanterns.  The church had no air conditioning, so the windows were opened and they used funeral parlor fans.

In 1920, a bell was purchased for the church.  The bell came to the train depot.  Gladys Medlin's father, Tint Williams, went in a horse-drawn wagon to pick up the bell and brought it back to his house where it stayed on their back porch for a week.  The men took it to the church in a horse-drawn wagon and put it up.  Gladys Medlin was about eight years old at the time.

Doc Chapman would always ring the bell and he knew all the ages of the people in the church.  When there was a death in the church, Doc would come and ring the bell for how many years that person had lived-so if a church member was 42 years old when he did, Doc would ring the bell forty-two times.

In the early 1920s, there were no Sunday school rooms, just the open aread of the auditorium.  Back then, it was not called Sunday school but "Card Class."  The Sunday School lesson came on a card with a Bible verse on it.  All the young children memorized the verses.  The calles met in the auditorium; each class had a corner.  Cora Williams was an early Card Class teacher.  Cora was Elizabeth Williams's first teacher.  Rebekah Nimmons, Elizabeth "Williams's sister, was also a Card Class teacher and taught Elizabeth and Gladys Medlin.  In 1928, Rebekah was bitten by a snake and died.

At baptizing time, the men would get the horse drawn wagons and barrels and go down to the creek behind Roy Elrod's house Roy's house was not far from the church.  The creek used to be called "Ernest Branch."  No one remembers why it was named Ernest Branch.  The men would fill the barrels with water and then bring the barrels back and fill the baptismal pool.  On Sundays after the baptizing, the ladies of the church would fill their buckets with the water from the baptismal pool, use their corn shuck mops and sand to mop the floor of the church. 

Henry Burgess was paid $800 todig out under the church to add Sunday school rooms.  Mr. Lonnie Crowe helped raise the money to pay for this, which was near the church, would allow their students to get out of school to attend the revival meeting because they were held in the mornings.

In the 1950's the building was extensively remodeled, at which time the original wood siding was replaced with brick veneer.  Robert Lyles was the pastor then.  During a baptizing in the Saluda River.  Pastor Lyles went arou8nd while everyone was enthused and "in the spirit," and asked for pledges of bricks.  Each member of the church pledged so many bricks.  Pastor Lyles got exactly the amount of bricks needed to brick the church.  Andrew Medlin's (Bulah Medlin's grandfather), his sons furman Medlin (Bulah Medlin's father_, and Wilford Medlin (Gladys Medlin's husband) laid the bricks for the church.  They pledged their time and they were not paid for bricking the church.  L.C. Burges also helped haul bricks for the church.  L.C. was about thirteen years old at the time.

During this time frame, a small vestibule and a small steeple were added and the interior was remodeled with changes to the interior finishes, lighting, pulpit, choir loft, and baptistery.  An educational wing was added to the rear of the original building in the 1970-1980 periods.

Keith Phillips was the last person to be baptized in the outside baptismal pool.  This was about 1979.  The first person to be baptized inside the church was Keith Phillip's mother, Dot Cranford.

In 1993, the planning process for the relocation of Mt. Tabor to Dacusville Highway began.  Dr. George F. Case Jr. was the pastor at this time.  Dr. Case led the church through the building phase and the smooth transition of moving into the new church building.  Thje new modern $800,000 facility has been home for Mt. Tabor since our first Sunday, October 27th, 1996.  On this day in the new church, 154 attended Sunday School and 197 attended the morning worship service.  The multipurpose auditorium has about 200 removable seats, and modern lighting and sound systems.  Besides the auditorium, Mt. Tabor has 10 classrooms, a library, choir room, secretary's office, pastor's office, and a kitchen.  Many of our church members did much of the work during the construction.

On dedication day for the new building, the bell was removed from the old church and brought to the new church in  a horse -drawn wagon- the same way it was brought to the old church in 1920.  Mrs. Gladys Medlinrode with the bell in the horse drawn wagon driven by Johnny and Stephanie Brown.  There are plans for a church bell tower to give the bell a proper place in the church.

In 2004, Gladys Medlin went home to be with the Lord.  She loved the church and left Mt. Tabor a large monetary gift.  This money was used to pay off the church debt.  "Miss" Gladys was a long-standing member who can trace her family back to the beginning of Mt. Tabor.  Her niece, Bulah Medlin Taylor, her great niece, Shannon Taylor Vaughn, and her great, great niece, Anna Marie Vaughn still attend Mt. Tabor.