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Speedwell Methodist Church — Millett, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Allendale County  |  Speedwell Methodist Church

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Speedwell Methodist Church

This congregation in the now-Allendale County town of Millett was formed in 1884, when the community was still part of Barnwell County. Two local women, Olga Brabham Dunbar and Savannah Barker Bates, desired a Methodist church in their community. They embarked on a fund-raising effort, even traveling to neighboring Bamberg County for donations.

Speedwell Methodist Church

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Once sufficient funds were collected, a five-acre tract of land was donated for the new church by Mary Dunbar Lafitte in 1885. A sanctuary was subsequently constructed on the property, and founder Ogreta Dunbar served as the church’s first communion steward.

Speedwell Church Allendale County

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The church took its name from the local post office, called Speedwell. The Millett Station railroad and depot, for which the town was named, had not yet been established.

Speedwell Methodist Interior

Tom Taylor of Greenville, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Speedwell Methodist Church was pastored by supply preachers and originally belonged to the Allendale Circuit before becoming part of the Appleton Circuit in 1907. By the early twentieth century the first church was in need of replacement, and in 1922 construction began on the present church. Work on the new church was halted during the Great Depression but completed afterwards, and the building was dedicated in 1941.

Speedwell Methodist Marker

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The church maintained a steady membership for the next two decades, but by the 1960s, fewer and fewer people were worshiping in the rural church. In 1969 members voted to merge with the congregation of Swallow Savannah Methodist Church in Allendale. Services at Speedwell Methodist ceased by 1970, though occasional homecoming services are still held.

Speedwell Methodist Church Info

Address: Speedwell Church Road, Millett, SC 29836
GPS Coordinates: 33.083892,-81.541686

Speedwell Methodist Church Map

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2 Comments about Speedwell Methodist Church

SC Picture Project says:
December 5th, 2018 at 10:58 am

Dear Carol, thank you so much for sharing these heartwarming memories! We’d love to add anything else you can remember about the church, including your pastor’s name. We hope with your help, and help from others, this guide to Speedwell Methodist Church can grow and grow! You are always welcome to write us at share@scpictureproject.org. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to share these stories!

Carol Houck Hicks says:
December 5th, 2018 at 4:31 am

I really enjoyed reading and viewing the pictures of Speedwell UMC. I grew up going to this church every 5th Sunday night for covered dish suppers and worship service. Our pastor at Gillett UMC also preached in Allendale and at Speedwell when I was young. I remember going to Bible School there one summer as well. My niece sent me this info. Thanks for publishing! This church holds treasured memories from my childhood of dear people and fun times together.

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