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High Hills Baptist Church — Stateburg, South Carolina

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High Hills Baptist Church

High Hills Baptist Church, also known as High Hills of Santee Baptist Church, was founded in 1770. Its current building was constructed in 1848 by William Sanders, replacing an earlier house of worship that was constructed in 1803. Richard Furman served as the church’s first pastor shortly after converting to the Baptist denomination and deserting his Anglican roots.

High Hills Santee Baptist

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

Furman was converted by a local pastor, Joseph Reese, after his family relocated to the High Hills (Stateburg) area from New York state. Many Baptist churches emerged in the area and throughout South Carolina a result of Reverend Furman’s influence. Furman University in Greenville was established in 1826, the year after Furman’s death, and is named for the noted Baptist minister.

High Hills Of Santee

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

Contributor James Jenkins says, “Historical markers indicate the High Hills Baptist Church was established on land given by Dr. Joseph Howard. It was moved to land purchased from Gen. Thomas Sumter (the present site). Pastor John M. Roberts (in 1799) opened Roberts Academy, the first Baptist Educational Institution in the state. Furman University later followed in 1826 and later the Southern Baptist Seminary. The church is fenced and should be respected if you visit the site.”

High Hills Baptist Church

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

High Hills Santee Church

Tom Taylor of Greenville, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

High Hills Baptist Church is listed in the National Register as part of the Stateburg Historic District, which says the following about the area:

Stateburg derives part of its historical significance from its connection with Revolutionary General Thomas Sumter, who founded the town in 1783 and named it in hopes that it would be chosen as the new state capital. It missed this distinction in 1786 by only a few votes. The town was also the site of Revolutionary War activity. Both Generals Cornwallis and Greene camped in the area and Sumter’s home was destroyed by Colonel Tarleton. Although original plans to construct water transportation routes to facilitate trade with other parts of the state never materialized, Stateburg developed into an important South Carolina antebellum residential area. From 1783 to 1800 it was county seat for Claremont County, and until the Civil War, was a thriving town.

High Hills Baptist Church Info

Address: Meeting House Road, Stateburg, SC 29040
GPS Coordinates: 33.985083,-80.534671

High Hills Baptist Church Map

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8 Comments about High Hills Baptist Church

Barbara says:
May 31st, 2019 at 10:01 pm

Beautiful! Thank you for posting!

William F. Sanders, Jr. says:
February 13th, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Richard Furman is my 5x great grandfather, my dad’s father is Elijah Sanders and his mom’s name is Martha Hattie Sanders.

Mike Jones says:
August 5th, 2015 at 4:00 am

My great-grandmother went to Statesburg High School but classes were held right here at High Hills Baptist church from 1900-1904. She then went on to St. Joseph's Academy for college and graduated in 1908.

Tom Evans says:
February 3rd, 2015 at 1:34 am

This is a beautiful landmark and I hope everyone will respect it and keep it the way its suppose to be.

williamf.sanders jr says:
January 17th, 2015 at 10:24 am

Felicia Furman I think we are related then.

williamf.sanders jr says:
January 17th, 2015 at 10:21 am

I am related to Mr Richard Furman and William Marion Sanders.

Felicia Furman says:
July 2nd, 2014 at 10:39 am

I’m a descendant of Richard Furman and hope to travel to the High Hills of Santee to see the church do some other research. Does any know where any of the property of the Furman’s might be. I assume all of the plantation houses have been destroyed. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Mary R. Gulledge says:
July 24th, 2013 at 12:44 pm


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