Gurley Baptist Church

by Wyness Thomas


No written record of Gurley Baptist Church (which was once called New Light) has been discovered. Waeeamaw Baptist Associational records list New Light as being organized in 1901, but previous records of the Waccamaw Baptist Assoeition on microfilm in the Horry County Memorial Library give a report by New Light to the Association in 1895. The Rev. H. D. Grainger was pastor that year; R. M. Prince, Jr. was Clerk.

Another report was filed with the Association in 1896 with Rev. J. H. Blanton as pastor and R. M. Prince, Jr. as Clerk. No report was flied for the next two years. At the turn of the century Rev. C. F. Ramsbottom from Chadbourn, NC, was pastor of the 10 male members and 11 female members with a salary of $17.40 per year.

The Rev. W. Barnes from Cerogorder (Cerro Gordo), NC, served the 23 member church in 1901 with J. T. Alford as Sunday School Superintendent.

In 1903 the church pledged $10 to support a missionary to be sent by the Association to the foreign field. They also gave $3.00 to the aged ministers fund. The following year Mr. R. A. Ammons represented the church at the annual Assoeiational meeting and read the church letter. Rev. Paul Britt from orrum, NC, was pastor. Foreign missions offering was $5.80.

Representatives to the Associational meeting in 1919 were E. W. Prince, A. R. Prince, W. R. Tyler and Maude Anderson. The pastor's salary was $150 with $15 being given to foreign missions. The seating capacity of the church was 200. The next year the church had no pastor, but its total contributions were $165 and the church properly was valued at $500.

In 1921, still without a pastor, 68 were enrolled in Sunday School with an average attendance of 50. Total receipts for the year were $160. Mrs. E. W. Prince was president of the WMU and S. M. Allen Sunday School Superintendent.

In 1925 preaching for the 39 church members was held on the second and fourth Sundays. Five years later total church expenses were $157 for the 40 members.

Rev. J. Robert Carter from Hand, SC, in Horry County, was pastor in 1932 with 42 members. By 1938 the membership had increased to 50 with the pastor's salary at $100.

The name of the church was changed from New Light to Gurley in the Associational records in 1940.

Total offerings in 1953 were $1,371.56, of which the 31 members paid their pastor a salary of $500.00

"In 1956 the 48 members appointed a committee of five for the planning and building of a new church. Dedicated people contributed money, materials and tinge to construct the building in the least amount of time. The church, which seats 150 people, was debt free within one year with a dedication in 1958."*

The pastor's salary was $960 in 1961. Average allendance in Sunday School was 44. Mrs. M. A. Prince was president of the WMS. Frank Hyatt was Clerk. The church gave a total of $359 to missions.

Total members in 1965 was 101. Hubert Williamson was Sunday School Superintendent with and average attendance of 35 each Sunday. Total receipts were $2,173.

The value of church properly in 1970 was $25,000. Sunday School averaged 36 members. The WMS gave no report or was not functioning. Total expenditures of the $2,676 budget was $2,010. Marvin Prince was Chairman of the Deacons.

Glenn Lane was church clerk in 1975 with 48 resident members. Frank Hyatt was Chairman of the Deacons. Total offerings were $4,198 with $170 given to missions. There was again no WMU report.

In 1980 with 68 resident members and no pastor, the church averaged 31 in Sunday School. Although there was no WMU or Brotherhood, $512 was given to missions from the total receipts of $6,728. Frank Hyatt was Chairman of the Deacons and $1,380 was paid on new construction during the year.

Mr. James D. Anderson was Sunday School Superimtendent in 1985 with an average attendance of 28, The church gave $200 to the Cooperative Program. Church property was valued at $75,000.

The 1990 Waccamaw Baptist Associational minutes list the death of Rev. H. D. Fowler, who had been pastor of Gurley since 1983. Barry Dorsey is Sunday School Director with an average attendance of 39. Total given to missions was $1,055. The value of church property is $80,000 with no pastor's home. In 1991 there were 79 resident members with total receipts of $15,322.**

Note: This history is taken from the History of the Churches of the Waccamaw Association, compiled in 1991 by Wynness Thomas. Used by permission of Bill Harrill, Director of Missions of the Waecamaw Baptist Association.

* Information from a church member.
** From microfilm of the Waccamaw Baptist Association in the Horry County Memorial Library and Minutes of the Waccamaw Baptist Association at the Associational office.

Gurley Baptist Church is located about seven miles southwest of Loris off Highway 701 on State Road 6.

PASTORS

H. D. Grainger    1895
J. H. Blanton    1896
C. F. Ramsbottom    1900
W. Barnes    1901
Paul Britt    1904
S. L. Purvis    -14
J. J. Adams    1915-16
L. F. Westbury    1919-22
J. T. Going    1923
J. W. Todd    1925
T. H. Patterson    1927-28
W. J. Ingraham    1929-30
J. Robert Carter    1932
W. A. Coleman    1933
W. J. Ingraham    1935
W. D. Pridgen    1936
A. R. Soles  1937-38
Clyde Prince       1937-44
W.J. Burton    1944-45
Norman Edge    1946-46
A.D. Fulmer    1946-49
S.A. Hatley    1949-52
Tom Hearne    1953-53
J.A. Seymour    1954-56
LeRoy Elvis    1957-
Grover Faulk    1960-?
Elbert Sykes    1964-66
R.J. Hewill    1966-66
Carl Anderson    1967-70
LeRoy Elvis    1970-74
James Cox    1975-78
James W. Harris    1979-80
Carl Anderson    1981-81
Phil Huggins    1981-81
H.D. Fowler    1981-89
Danny Whither    1990-

The Independent Republic Quarterly
Vol.26 Fall 1992, pp 27-28

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