Philippi Baptist Church was organized on November 4, 1888, at Adamsburg, Union County South Carolina by a group of interested and concerned people. These people, having realized the need for a Baptist church in this community, gathered on this memorable day, determined in their faith that a new church would be born. There were 18 known charter members present that day.
Ebenezer Franklin Vaughan donated the property for the church building and for a cemetery. His first wife, Martha Ann Bentley Vaughan was the first person to be buried in the cemetery. The work on the church began in March 1889, and the first service was held the third Sunday of May 1889. Seating capacity for the church was 400, and total disbursements amounted to $639.08, a splendid building indeed. Philippi joined the Union County Baptist Association on September 18, 1889.
The first remodeling and additions were made to the church in 1938. A seven-room brick parsonage was built in 1948. The vestibule was remodeled and a raised baptistery was added in 1955. A fellowship hall was built in 1961, and a multi-purpose Christian Fellowship Center was built in 1977.
Many pastors served Philippi during its early years of growth and for its first sixty years these pastors were shared with other churches in the field. Reverend Coy R. Miller was Philippi’s first full time pastor, holding his first service on August 15, 1948.
Philippi celebrated its centennial year in 1988 with many special services and events including an “Ole Timey Day”. Period clothes were worn by members to the service on that day. A centennial church history book, “Philippi and Its People”, written by Anne Patrick, was also published and presented in 1988. Copies of this history book are still available for purchase by calling the church office.
Some remodeling was done to the sanctuary in 1993, and the choir seating was moved from the side of the church to the back of the pulpit.
Joey Howard served as Minister of Youth and Children in 1992- 93 and again in 1995- 96. Joey was ordained into the ministry December 5, 1993. He resigned his work at Philippi in August of 1996.
Alice Tompkins was named Philippi’s first Minister of Music/Education in December 1987. She resigned in October 1989 and returned to serve again May 1994 to October 1995.
Karmen Kingsmore was hired as Director of Music at Philippi in September 1996 and resigned in August 2001.
Charlene Nance served some years as pianist, and then she became full time organist in April 1996. Others who have served in recent years as pianists are Evelyn Duncan, Suzette Howard, and Karen Kingsmore. Nancy Hill is presently serving as pianist and Karen Finch plays the keyboard.
Pat Bentley has served Philippi as church secretary since October 1984.
Rev. Tim Huckaby was called as Pastor to Philippi in September of 1997. By February of the following year, church attendance had increased to the point that two worship services were begun, one at 9:00 a. m. and one at 11:00 a. m.
Brad Goodale was hired to serve as Minister of Youth and Children in March of 1998, and was ordained into the ministry in October of 1998. The ordination service was held at Tabernacle Baptist Church.
A master plan for building a new and larger sanctuary was presented, voted on, and accepted in January of 1999. It was planned for the sanctuary to consist of 14,500 square feet and to seat approximately 600 people. The estimated cost of the sanctuary was 1.25 million dollars. The church parsonage was moved to an adjacent lot to provide necessary space for the building and parking. Ground breaking for the new sanctuary was held November 28, 1999.
On March 25, 2001, a dedication service was held for the new church sanctuary, and the church was filled to capacity. Speaking that day were building committee chairman Glenn Ivey and fund raising committee chairman Les Anderson. Various groups of the church and all the choirs, adult, youth, and children's, participated in the program. Reverend Huckaby’s sermon for the occasion was “The Cross.” Members and friends of the church purchased the solid oak pews, pew Bibles, and the choir chairs. The new facility is wide, fan-shaped, and built to retain the cozy and intimate feeling the congregation had in the former sanctuary. As of September 2001, there had been 232 new members join Philippi under the ministry of Reverend Tim Huckaby.
On July 15, 2001, Philippi reverted to having one worship service on Sunday morning. The church voted to begin Sunday School at 9: 30 a. m. and the worship service at 10:30 a. m. At this time Sunday School average attendance was over 250, and the church service at 10:30 a.m. was averaging over 350.
Reverend Brandon Bailey was called to serve Philippi as Associate Pastor of Music and Education on April 7, 2002. Reverend Bailey and wife Robyn came to us from Honea Path, SC. Brandon served in this position until October of 2007.
Reverend Tim Huckaby resigned as Pastor of Philippi on April 21, 2002 to accept a pastorate in Greer, SC. Reverend Huckaby preached his last sermon on May 5, 2002.
On May 19, 2002 Reverend Brad Goodale was called as Pastor of Philippi. Reverend Goodale had been serving as Associate Pastor at Philippi.
Reverend Ben McLaughlin was called on September 8, 2002 to serve the church as Associate Pastor of Students and Missions. Reverend McLaughlin and wife Michelle came to Philippi from Darlington, SC.
A vision of the Heritage of “Philippi Baptist Church and its People” was realized on November 7, 2004. A newly established Heritage Room was dedicated by the church’s Heritage Committee during the Sunday Homecoming Services. This area is now known as “The Hall of Faith”. The walls boast framed prints of earlier church buildings, charter members, early stalwart members and, past and present pastors. Also, an artist’s sketches of his interpretation of the Original Sanctuary, and the site of the earliest baptisms, which was known as the “Pool Hollow”. Track lights were installed down the center of the ceiling to focus on the various prints. A large lighted curio with glass sliding doors was installed to house a collection of historical artifacts contributed by families in the church.
In 2004, attendance grew again to the point that two morning Worship services were needed as before, with an early service at 8:15 a. m. and one at 10:30 a. m.
In 2005, Sunday School average attendance had grown to around 325 and the morning worship service was averaging 550.
Reverend Ben McLaughlin, Associate Pastor of Students and Missions resigned his ministry at Philippi on July 3, 2005. Ben and his wife Michelle returned to their hometown of Darlington, SC.
Rob Vernon was called on October 2, 2005 to serve as Associate Pastor of Students and Missions. Rob, wife Emily, and daughter Reagan came to Philippi from Ohio. Their first Sunday at Philippi was October 16, 2005. Rob was ordained into the Ministry at Philippi during the evening service on January 8, 2006. He resigned his position in October 2007.
In 2006 the church voted to build a new building called the Family of Faith Center. This FFC would would be a place where the church could host meals in a nicer facility than the gym. The building would also have 5 Sunday School classrooms and an indusrtrial kitchen. In addition to Sunday and Wednesday classes, today that building is used for weekly Wednesday night meals and Monday night visitation. There is an annual Sportsman Supper and a sem-annual Ladies Night Out event, plus Homecoming, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other fellowships. The FFC is also a great place for wedding receptions and to serve families after funerals. The building was completed and dedicated in December of 2007.
In May of 2007 Crystal Quinn was hired as the church's Administrative Assistant. Crystal assists the pastoral staff and secretary in carrying out the church business.
Tommy Mann was called to serve Philippi as Associate Pastor of Students and began his work on January 25, 2008. Reverend Tommy and wife Alicia came to Philippi from West Orlando Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida, and Tommy was ordained into the ministry at Philippi on January 30, 2008.
In the summer of 2008 Philippi voted to create a new position—Associate Pastor of Families. That same August the church hired Robert Scott to serve in that capacity; Robert and his wife Kathleen are from Union. Robert was ordained into the ministry at Philippi in 2009.
The following Sunday after Pastor Robert was hired, the church hired a new Associate Pastor of Music—the Reverend Shawn Murphy. Pastor Shawn, his wife Charis
, and daughters Mackenzie, Karissa, and Alley came to Philippi from Honea Path, S.C. The Murphy family left Philippi in 2013 to move to Arkansas in order to be nearer Charis' mother.
As the church continued to grow space once again became an issue. On December 5, 2011, Philippi made the move to three morning services. The service times are 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00. In addition to the extra service, a second Sunday School was added; these Sunday Schools are concurrent with the latter services at 9:00 and 11:00.
In the Fall of 2012 Philippi decided to change the name from Sunday School to Bible Study. This name change was done to reflect the idea that studying the Bible was the chief goal of the class.
On June 23rd, 2013, the church voted unanimously to change Tommy Mann's role to Associate Pastor and Robert Scott's role to Pastor of Students.
This section contains excerpts from Anne Patrick's book Philippi and its People: The First Hundred Years. The book is available through the church office for $25. Mrs. Anne has spent many years researching the church history during her tenure as church historian.