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History of Euhaw Baptist Church 

Euhaw has a long and proud history.  Dissenters who came from Scotland with the Cardross Expedition in 1684 formed it.  After being burned out of their settlement near Port Royal by the Spaniards in 1686, they settled at Edisto Island and began to worship there.  The Edisto settlement was composed mostly of Presbyterians and Anabaptists.  They worshiped in the same building until the Anabaptists were chased out by the Presbyterians in the early 1720s.  By 1726 they built their own sanctuary and had “glebe” lands of approximately 100 acres.  They had also employed their own minister, Rev. William Fry.     

During this period they maintained that they were a “branch” of the church at Charles Town, which was started about the same time as Euhaw at the settlement of Summerton, near the point where Pinopolis is located today.  They later moved to Charles Town.  This attachment was maintained in order to have a place to retreat if attacked again by the Spaniards or Indians. 

Land of the Euhaws

In the 1730s, the Baptists began a migration from Edisto to the “Land of the Euhaws”, some at St. Helena’s Island, some at Port Royal and some at Hilton Head.  However, the majority settled in the “Land of the Euhaws” around the headwaters of Boyd’s Creek.  They resumed worship there and by 1750, had erected a sanctuary, a school, and a vestry on land donated by Francis Pelot.     

The new stagecoach road ran right in front of the sanctuary.  An Indian “long house” still stood across the road from the church.  Francis Pelot, formerly a Presbyterian, was baptized and hired as minister on the same day, May 18, 1746.  He served well for 28 years, an all time record for Euhaw.  The Boyd Creek site served the congregation for 107 years when they elected to move their place of worship to Grahamville.  

Relocating to Grahamville

Almost immediately after the new sanctuary was completed in Grahamville, the Civil War began and with men off to war, worship was suspended.  Union troops set fire to the new building but enough of it was left to restore.  However, it burned as a result of a forest fire in 1904.  The old sanctuary that stands today was built in 1905 and is still used at times.  The new sanctuary was erected in 1985.     

Euhaw is the mother church to many area churches.  Her influence was particularly great in the formative years of the Southern Baptist.  William B. Johnson, who later became the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was ordained at Euhaw and served as its minister for three years.      

Charleston and Euhaw are the “roots” of the Southern Baptist Association of churches.  But the die was cast when Grahamvillians rejected the plan for the railroad to be constructed through town.   Gopher Hill, and later Ridgeland, developed around the new railroad station.  Grahamville never fully recovered from the Civil War and Euhaw became destined to be a rural church.   

Euhaw Celebrates 250 Years

The doctors, lawyers, plantation owners, and businessmen never returned.  However, Euhaw has persevered and on November 18, 1995 members and friends joined in a celebration of 250 years of service to our Lord as an independent church.         

That initial band of worshipers who joined together in praise and thanksgiving on Edisto Island over 320 years ago with names like Grimball, Parmenter, Fry, Mikell, Sealy, Elliot, Sheppard, Odingsell, and their families, laid the foundation for the congregation that we’ve called Euhaw Baptist Church.      

Although we have a storied past, the future is, and should be, our main concern.  Our mission is to serve the Lord where we are today, both individually and collectively.   

Written by Wofford Malphrus