Beulah Baptist Church

Our History

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20
Because of the world-wide command of the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior, a counsel composed of Rev. H.K. Ezell, Rev. J.K. Mendenhall, S.S. Knight, Graves L. Knight, C.P. Nelson, E.N. Garrett, H. Vaughn, J.J. Shumate, and Martin Wood met for the purpose of organizing a Baptist Church to be called Beulah.  On August 17, 1883, members from Poplar Spring, Rabun Creek, Fountain Inn, and other Baptist churches brought their letters to constitute the charter members.  Thomas Babb, J.H. Nash, and Robert Coleman were elected to serve as the first deacons of the church.  J.H. Nash was elected to serve as clerk and W.P. Nash, Robert Coleman and L.P. Armstrong were elected to serve as trustees.  Rev. H.K. Ezell was called as the first pastor.  

On February 18, 1884, a two-acre tract of land was given by L.P. Armstrong on which the church would gather and later construct its first buildings.  A Sunday School was organized for the church beginning on the second Sunday of March 1884.  A weekly prayer meeting was established later that year on July 19, 1884.  On July 11, 1891, a motion was made and approved to light the church building.  A collection was taken at the next church conference for the purpose of purchasing lamps for the church.  The congregation selected the Baptist Hymn Book from which to worship in July 1895.  Since the time of its founding, Beulah had been a member of the Reedy River Association.  However, in 1897, the church withdrew and became a member of the Laurens Baptist Association.  

Rev. R.H. Blalock followed Brother Ezell as pastor in 1886.  Rev. A.C. Stepp was elected pastor in 1889, serving for one year, followed by Rev. L.M. Roper whose service came to an end after six months.  Brother Blalock was recalled to serve the church.  Rev. W.H. Waters followed in 1892.  For the next four years, Dr. J.A. Martin led the church.  It was during his ministry that the building was repaired.  Rev. Joe A. Martin led the church from 1897 to the turn of the century. Bro. J.M. Allen served for three years, followed by the Rev. D.D. Richardson.  By 1904, the membership of the church had grown from only a few to more than one hundred.

On September 9, 1905, Rev. G.W. Bussey was elected to serve as Beulah’s pastor.  From 1906 to 1909, no records of the church are to be found.  From 1909 to 1913 we find the Rev. T.J. Todd, Rev. M.M. Richardson, Rev. J.H. Machen, Rev. J.J. Payseur, and E.C. Watson serving as pastors.  On May 25, 1913, the church, feeling the need for a new and better building, met and voted to build.  A committee was appointed but because of limited funds the building did not materialize.

From November 25, 1913, when Rev. J.A. Brock was called as pastor, to July 1, 1923, the following served as pastor: Rev. H.A. O’Kelley, Rev. L.D. Bass, Rev. C.W. Hood, and Rev. S.P. Hair.  On July 1, 1923, Rev. W.P. Rochester preached his first sermon as pastor.  His service was cut short.  On August 7, 1924, he and his wife were killed in an automobile-train wreck in Fountain Inn.  Rev. J.G. Newton served the next two years, resigning in the Fall of 1926 to enter the seminary.  Rev. W.A. Baldwin served faithfully the next three years.  The Rev. J.N. Watson was called in the Spring of 1930, resigning in the Fall of the same year to enter the seminary.

During the thirties we note the following men leading the Spiritual progress of the church: Rev. W.H. Griffin for one year and Rev. W.A. Stephenson for two years.  From January 1933 to September 17, 1933, the church was supplied by C.H. Mount and H.L. Ferguson.  Rev. J.D. Hughey, who would go on to serve as a Missionary in Spain, served for the next three years, followed by David Anderson in 1937, and Rev. Paul E. Sisco in 1938.

On May 12, 1940, Rev. H.L. King was called as pastor.  In October of the same year, feeling the need for a more adequate house of worship, a building committee was appointed to bring a plan before the church.  This committee was composed of W.T. Coleman, W.S. Adair, H.C. Nelson, J.C. Vaughan, J.K. Nash, J.A. Chapman, and Miss Daisy Stone.  The Church adopted the plans on January 6, 1941, and work was begun soon thereafter.  During work on the new building, services were held in the Greenpond Schoolhouse.  On September 21, 1942, after many hours of toil and hard work, much of which was donated by the members, the first service was held.

Rev. J.C. Weathers served from July 21, 1942, to September 24, 1944.  Rev. H.W. Granter was called as pastor on February 18, 1945, and served until March 1950.  It was during Brother Granger’s ministry that the basement floor was cemented, and on August 31, 1948, the note of the church was paid.  Rev. Wingard Berry received a call to serve the church April 30, 1950.  At the same time the church voted to go from two services a month to having services each Sunday.  In December of 1950, Sunday School rooms were added and completed in the basement.  The following June 4, 1951, the pastor and his family moved into a newly erected pastorium on the church property.  In the Fall of 1951, a heating unit, which was given by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Henson in honor of the late Mr. W.E. Chapman and Mrs. Chapman, was installed.  Early in 1952, restrooms were added, and the auditorium was painted. On September 14, 1958, the congregation voted to call Rev. Berry to be the church’s first full-time pastor.  Prior to this time, the church had shared its pastor with Rabon Creek Baptist Church.  

On September 6, 1959, a study committee presented plans for a new educational building to serve the growing needs of the church.  A groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held on October 18, 1959 and was occupied for the first time on April 3, 1960.  In addition to new Sunday School rooms, indoor restrooms, a heating system, new songbooks, pews, and pulpit furniture were also added at this time.

Rev. Berry served the congregation at Beulah until January 1964.  At that time, Rev. G.W. Allen was called to serve as the church’s pastor.  It was during his tenure that Beulah again found itself in need of new space to serve its growing congregation.  On July 18, 1965, the church voted to build the present auditorium complete with all the furnishings, including an indoor baptistery, a new heating system and for the first time, air-conditioning.  It was also planned to add chimes to the church steeple.  The new auditorium was completed in 1966.  Rev. Allen served as pastor for fourteen years during the 1960s and 1970s.

Rev. W.H. “Jeff” Jeffords was then called to lead the congregation.  It was during his service that the congregation voted on April 15, 1984 to remove the church building that was completed in the 1940s.  This made way for a new educational building, complete with a larger fellowship hall, a kitchen, and offices to serve the needs of the growing church.  Rev. Jeffords would go on to serve as the Director of Missions of the Laurens County Baptist Association and held various positions with the South Carolina Baptist Convention

Rev. Jiles W. “Bill” Crouch was called to be Beulah’s pastor in 1988.  On May 19, 1991 the congregation voted and approved a project to renovate the church’s sanctuary, including new fixtures and carpet and refurbished pews.  New stained-glass windows were also installed in the sanctuary at this time.  During Rev. Crouch’s tenure at Beulah, he travelled to India in 1992 and 1994 on mission.  On his journeys, Rev. Crouch preached the gospel to many people but personally led just one man to faith in Christ.  On his second mission trip, Rev. Crouch contracted hepatitis.  The only thing that could save his life, doctors agreed, was a liver transplant.  He received a new organ on November 14, 1995, but ultimately passed away a few days later on Thanksgiving Day.  Throughout his illness, Rev. Crouch never doubted the value of his trips to India.  He once said that even if the illness took his life, his journeys were still worth it.  Certainly, the India mission trip was worth it for the man that Rev. Crouch personally led to a saving relationship with Christ.  And the importance of that conversion has been multiplied, as that convert himself became a preacher.  A church in India bears the name “Beulah” because of the work of Christ through Rev. Crouch.

Dr. Eddy R. Mattison was elected to serve as Beulah’s pastor in 1996.  In 1999, renovations were completed to the building and parking lot areas to add a covered drive-thru and to improve the accessibility of the church’s facilities.  In the spring of 2002, the pulpit and choir loft were renovated, and a multimedia projector system was installed for the first time.  During his service at Beulah, Dr. Mattison led multiple mission trips to Eastern Europe into the former Soviet Union including to Ukraine and Moldova.  

Rev. Walter E. Wood became Beulah’s transitional pastor in October 2012.  Dr. J. Chris Bryan has served as Beulah’s pastor since 2014.  During his tenure, Beulah has experienced a period of renaissance in terms of spiritual growth and membership.  A digital marquee sign was added on Greenpond Road in 2016 to help spread the word of all the events taking place at Beulah.  In 2020, our facilities were again renovated, and the church has begun to prepare for its next chapter of growth on the opposite site of Greenpond Road from where it has served the community since its inception.

During its more than 130 years of existence, dozens of men have lead our church and guided our congregation through numerous wars and conflicts.  Six men have been called into full-time Christian ministry from Beulah: O.G. Hicks on June 11, 1904, Felton Cox on June 15, 1962, John Baughn on March 16, 2003, Chris Sullivan in 2008, Brandon Amick in 2008; and Nathan Wiles in 2018.  The church continues to be missions focused, has been involved in numerous local, state-side, and international mission trips, and helps support the full-time ministry of several missionaries around the world.  

For well over a century, Beulah Baptist Church has stood at the crossroads of the Greenpond community.  Our membership has grown from twenty-nine charter members to several hundred today.  Though our congregation has grown, our focus still remains the same: To Minister Thru Christ for Life’s Crossroads.