Soapstone Baptist Church in Pickens is known as the oldest African-American church in the Upstate. The church was established and built in the late 1860s, just after the Civil War. A school for the children of former slaves was also established on the church grounds.
Soapstone Baptist Church still holds regular services and is known locally for hosting a fish fry every third Sunday. The scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains are surrounded with an abundance of soapstone, giving the church its name.
Terese Shelton says
We visited this historical church on one of the Fish Fry Sundays. Pastor Myra Owens warmly welcomed us as tourists—-she was animated as she spoke about paying off the mortgage on the church.
Why isn’t this historic church’s survival story being told? Perhaps because it reflects the shocking racism and persecution of formerly enslaved folks….South Carolina has much to account for. Healing occurs only when these painful stories of violence and oppression are told—and we are certain that the Soapstone Church was targeted in the past as its members struggled for justice and equity.
Let’s all support this church and what it stands for!