Saturday, June 25, 2022

Seventy-Six Baptist Church

Before he settled the town of Seventy-Six, John Walker Semple had dreamed of a thriving community around a mill he had constructed on Indian Creek. After all, according to Jack Ferguson's book, "Early Times in Clinton County," the mill was drawing trade from all over the county. Recognizing the commercial possibilities, Semple added a general store, a saw mill, a blacksmith shop, a cabinet shop and later, a town.

What was needed was a church. Sadly, John Walker Semple did not live to see that happen. Most accounts say he died on Nov. 13, 1820. But, his wife, Lucy, and daughter, Francis, did see it happen. On June 22, 1822, they and twenty other members left Clear Fork Baptist Church and exactly one week later (on June 29th) became charter members of Seventy-Six Baptist Church. Among the others was one of Clear Fork's founding members, William Goodson Sr., and five members of his family, including his wife, Margaret, and son, William Jr. Others were Peggy Ashinhurst, Ann Beck, Ann Savage, two slaves (Tom and Sabre), Patsy Bristow, Hetty Brents, Joel Ellis, Elizabeth Rose, John Owens and William, Rachael, Peggy and Jonathan Smith.

Tomorrow, Seventy-Six Baptist Church will celebrate 200 years. There will be music, food, fellowship, and the word of God. Bring a chair and spend the day. The service and celebration begins at 10am. The church is located at 27 Seventy-Six Baptist Church Road.

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