South Carolina Picture Project
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Stono Baptist Church — Ravenel, South Carolina

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Stono Baptist Church

Now abandoned, this church in the rural community of Ravenel was founded in St. Paul’s Parish on June 19, 1842. The first structure to house its congregation was likely similar to this one – a simple wood-frame building. The original church burned in 1878 and was replaced by this one in 1884.

Stono Baptist Church

Dawnita Hall of North Charleston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The church’s congregation originally consisted of white Baptists from what was then Colleton District (now Colleton County, though Ravenel is currently in Charleston County). They brought their slaves with them, and in fact, the number of slave members was comparable to the number of white members. Of the founding members, 40 are listed as “white” and 41 as “colored.” Black members attended “by ticket,” or with written permission from their owners.

Stono Baptist Church in Ravenel SC

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Stono Baptist was the parent church of Toogoodoo Baptist Church on Willtown Road, dedicated on July 3, 1859. Toogoodoo Baptist also appears to have closed, although we welcome info to the contrary.

Stono Baptist Church, Piano in Doorway

Tony Bigley of Beaufort, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

From the church’s establishment in 1842 until 1910, rules dictating the congregation’s behavior were severe. Infractions such as hair pulling, tattling, and missing church for three consecutive Sundays were grounds for excommunication. Needless to say, drinking, dancing, and profanity also made the list of prohibited behaviors.

Stono Baptist

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2006 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

A church roster exists from 1941, so Stono Baptist Church was active at least until World War II. Today the church building sits vacant, though its graveyard continues to be maintained and used for burials.

Stono Baptist Ravenel

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

An interesting story related to this church is that one of its earliest pastors requested to be buried at the foot of the church’s steps upon his death so that “all who went in and out of the church would be compelled to walk over his body.” It is said that his request was granted.

Stono Baptist Piano

Dawnita Hall of North Charleston, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

More Pictures of Stono Baptist Church

Stono Baptist Interior

Lee Hartley of North Augusta, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Stono Baptist Church on Hill, Exterior

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Stono Baptist Church

Jim Benson of Hopkins, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Stono Baptist Church Detail

Jim Benson of Hopkins, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Stono Church Ravenel

Dennis Church of Charleston, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Stono Baptist Church

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Stono Baptist Church Info

Address: 6291 South Carolina Highway 165, Ravenel, SC 29470
GPS Coordinates: 32.788672,-80.260963

Stono Baptist Church Map

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4 Comments about Stono Baptist Church

Juana Cox says:
April 12th, 2019 at 8:46 am

Do you have a record for the burial of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Miller who died on May 20, 1926? She was buried at Stono Baptist Church in Ravenel. There was a headstone for her that was bulldozed into the woods after Hurricane Hugo.

There are more Howard ancestors buried at Stono Baptist Church. I’m not sure if there ever were headstones for them.
I’d like to also know if Abraham “Little Abe” Howard was buried there. He was 5 years old. 1874-1879

Thank you for any assistance. Juana N. Cox

SCIWAY says:
October 3rd, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Hello Julie, I have made Mr. Segars aware of your question and I hope we will have an answer for you very soon. Thank you!

Julie says:
October 2nd, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Does Mr. Bill know where the church roster from 1941 can be found? I am looking for Susan Elizabeth Platt 1871-1942 and her husband Phillip J Hudson 1857-1922. According to Lois Crosby (their daughter) she was 18 when Phillip died and said they were buried behind the church.

Debbie Prosser Chaplin says:
January 7th, 2017 at 10:11 pm

When I was 12 years old I played the piano every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 for the members to sing the old Baptist hymns. I could not read music, but played by air.I am now 67 years old. Good memories.


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