The History of Rehoboth Baptist Church extends back to 1879 when a small group of courageous believers came together in Ridgeway, SC, approximately 18 miles north of its present location. These faithful believers gathered in what was known as a “Bush Arbor” to worship and praise the Lord. A few years later before the turn of the century, the Lord’s blessings allowed that group to obtain their original building. The initial establishment was called “RAHATBAH” Baptist Church and was built on land donated by brothers Simon and Rufus Jones. The exact dates are unverifiable; however evidence reveals its existence and finding.
On December 23, 1915, RAHATBAH purchased one acre of land for twenty-five dollars from Earl Miles. During this tenure, Trustees Fletcher Taylor, James Taylor and Mach Simon changed the church’s spelling to its current name of Rehoboth which biblically means room to grow.
In 1962, Reverend Moses Thompson was called to become pastor of Rehoboth where he served until 1989. During his tenure, Rehoboth underwent several changes with restructuring and renovations. In the late 1980’s the Ridgeway Mining Company planned an expansion which included the immediate land surrounding Rehoboth’s then location. This expansion brought about a search for a new location for Rehoboth. The existing location on Hard Scrabble Road in Columbia, SC was selected as the new site. After serving the spiritual needs of the Ridgeway community for many years, plans began for the structure of a new church. The land was purchased and a contract for new construction was signed on May 11, 1989 and Reverend Thompson officiated the groundbreaking ceremony on May 24, 1989.
The new building for Rehoboth Baptist Church was completed and on Sunday, February 4, 1990, Rehoboth’s church family transitioned into their new church home, there by manifesting its name Rehoboth and its meaning to make room.
Reverend Chisolm served as interim pastor for one year after Reverend Thompson. Reverend Frederick served as pastor for three years until 1994 and was succeeded by Reverend Dr. George Gaymon. Pastor Gaymon inspired the organization and reorganization of numerous auxiliaries in the church. Under the spiritual leadership of Pastor Gaymon, four ministers were sent by the Lord to the church, thereby increasing the total to eleven sons and daughters in the ministry.
Over the next several years, Rehoboth’s growth and accomplishments were phenomenal. In 1998, Rehoboth Baptist Church’s membership consisted of approximately five hundred fifty members. To accommodate the growing membership, the eight o’clock Sunday Morning Worship service was established.
In 1999, the Trustees presented plans for a new Fellowship Hall and a new public address system was installed. In 2000, a groundbreaking service for the new “Family Life Center” was held and construction began later that year. In December of the same year, both the church bell from the old church and a new video system were installed. The Family Life Center building was completed and a dedication service was held in November 2001. The center offered day care services including an after school care program, a summer day camp program and a host of other activities for youth and adults. In 2002, Pastor Gaymon was appointed the first full-time pastor in the history of Rehoboth. A cornerstone was laid in recognition of Rev. Moses Thompson, Pastor Emeritus, in April of 2013 under whose leadership Rehoboth relocated to the Hard Scrabble Road location from Ridgeway, SC.
In the absence of an Undershepherd for approximately 2 years, Rehoboth was blessed by hearing God’s Word through the dedication of the Associated Ministers. In September 2006, Reverend Alvin Sykes, Sr. served as Pastor of Rehoboth, bringing Rehoboth’s new vision, “The Best is Yet to Come”.
Rehoboth was again without the leadership of an Undersheppard until its current pastor Reverend Dr. Ivory Torrey Thigpen answered the call in October 2008. Under Reverend Thigpen’s tenure, Rehoboth’s membership continues to increase as God adds to the fold. We are empowered with the vision to “Bridge the Gap” and “let our light shine” throughout the community, country, and world as we adhere to the Great Commission.
By God’s grace, Rehoboth will celebrate its 135th anniversary of serving the Lord in 2014.
This timeline includes events of old and new, passed down from generation to generation and member to member, therefore accounts and timelines are given to the best of the knowledge from whence it came.