First Baptist Church of Allendale was organized in 1882, its construction coinciding with the building of the Port Royal and Augusta Railroad. Sitting along the Savannah River, the church reflects a diverse membership that one might not suspect when passing through this rural town.
One reason for the church’s diversity might be that also located in Allendale is the University of South Carolina at Salkehatchie. Possibly due to a diverse student and faculty population at the college, First Baptist Church greets members of all ethnic backgrounds each Sunday. The congregation of the small church is equally divided among African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Indian families, with people of other backgrounds attending throughout the school year. Of course, the church’s outreach to college students – which includes a meal, devotional, and activities on Wednesday nights – helps supply the church with young faces and keeps them coming back.