Mary Scott Harvin- "Aunt Mary"-Started "Aunt Mary Harvin's Bible Church" four years after the the passage of the 13th amendment, to the constitution which abolished "slavery and involuntary servitudeI" on December 18, 1865. After attending church with the Dickens' family, she shared what she had learn with others from house to house to the Bush Harbor on the present site of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Seats for tree stumps and bunkers. The Bush Harbor was home to "Mary Harvest Bible Church."
Charles Gamble, steel mill owner, donated supplies for a 12 x 12 building, seats without backs, and flooring without nails. It is reported weekly services were held for 15 years.
Aunt Mary offered to purchase the church plot from her boss, Dr. J.D. Dickens. Dr. Dickens agreed to a sum of $25.00 to be paid in five installments of $5.00 each. Charlie Gamble made the first payment. Mr. Gamble was the grandfather of the late Edelle Walker, uncle of the late Bessie Gordon, and great-grandfather the late Milton Walker & Narcissus Spry. Mr. Gamble eventually joined the church and served as business manager. Ebenezer was still without a permanent minister. Licensed preachers from Dr. Dickens' church provided sermons. The church growing with older members who were changing their membership from the Methodist Church.
Twenty-seven young people join the church and were baptized in" Manning swamps (Pocotaligo), the third bridge." Three ministers were in attendance– George a Hayden, a white minister, J.G. McCoy, did the baptizing, and the name of the third minister is not recorded.
The first pastor selected to preach regular sermons, sunrise services, and afternoon services each Sunday was Rev. George A. Hayden. He was paid half of the public collection. Rev. Hayden's first sermon came from 1 Samuel 7:1–12. Aunt Mary then quoted, "Thus far the Lord has helped us" and from that day the church was named Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Ebenezer was rebuilt. The building spanned from where today's collection table is located to the doors where the ushers stand and from the first three windows on the right to the aisle on the left.
Due to illness, Rev, Hayden resigned and Rev. Lincoln Jenkins served as the acting pastor.
Rev. Cohen Whitehead was selected but was not able to come to Ebenezer until October. Rev. James Easley preached until Rev. Whitehead arrived.
Rev. Cohen Whitehead arrived at Ebenezer.
Rev. Lewis W. Jenkins uncle of now deceased coach Robert "Bobby" Jenkins served at Ebenezer until his death in January, 1901.
Rev. James Easley returned to help out along with alternate preachers from Morris College.
October 8, 1902
The local newspaper reported Ebenezer Baptist Church had a mortgage of over $500 when Rev. J. W. Easley became its pastor a few months ago. "Pastor Easley is an educated man of excellent manners, and good judgement, courteous to all, and already head has gained the respect of the intelligent white people of the town." The article listed "some of the white men that gave him assistance to lift the mortgage from his church"- 29 names were listed.
Rev. F. D. Garrett became the pastor. Deacons ordained during his pastorate were Bill Williams, Albert Miller, Theodore Harvin, and Nelson Tindale.
Prior to 1908
The actual date has not been determined but is reported in The History of Manning Training School: Origin, Development, and Consolidation that the Rev. L. W. Jenkins organized a school in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Dinkins Street prior to 1908.
Ebenezer was remodeled and the entrance was turned toward Dinkins Street. Eli Cole and John (Fluttie) Boyd were ordained deacons. Ebenezer hosted the Black River Association for the first time.
Rev. Garrett left Ebenezer to serve as acting president of Morris College and Rev. Seth Bobo presided as pastor.
Rev. A.B. McFail ws selected as the pastor. During his pastorate, his wife Anna was the organist and Sunday School Superintendent. Daisy Walker was the assistant organist and Agnes Walker organized the Ladies Missionary Society.
Rev. McFail left the Clarendon County community and Rev. J.C. Clark preached at Ebenezer in the afternoons after preaching at Rock Hill in the morning until the association reassigned him. Daisy Walker became the church organist and Edelle Walker was named the Sunday School Superintendent.
Rev. J.E. Mack became pastor. Services were reduced to twice monthly- 1st and 3rd Sunday.
Rev. Arthur Daniels served through 1936.
Rev. E.F. Everett became the pastor of Ebenezer.
Rev. E.E. Cornwell became the pastor. During his pastorate, his daughter, Mable Giving, became the senior choir's organist because Daisy Walker experienced health problems. In 1946, Rev. Cornwell relocated to Columbia.
Rev. W.M. Taylor succeeded Rev. Cornwell and his daughter, Vernice, became the church's musician assisted by Willian Walker. Rev. Taylor died in 1951.
Edelle Walker organized a second choir that was known as the "Town Choir."
Willian Walker began serving as Ebenezer's full-time musician.
April 20, 1949
Litigants of Briggs vs Elliott lawsuit met at Ebenezer.
Rev. C.F. Keels served through 1953, when he relocated to New York.
Rev. Guste Brown was Ebenezer's next pastor and served through 1959.
Rev. J.D. Bryan was named pastor and served for eighteen years. During his pastorate, the church was painted, gas heaters were installed, a trusted board was organized and began functioning. more deacons were ordained, an organ and piano were purchased, and small chairs were purchased for the toddlers. New pews with attached bookracks, new hymnals, and new pulpit furniture were also acquired. Due to failing health, Rev. Bryan retired in 1977.
Ebenezer became the home site for the Manning Branch of the NAACP's annual Santee-Wateree Expo Program and remains to home site.
Rev. G.P. Windley, Sr. was selected as pastor. Ebenezer experienced growth under his leadership. As membership increased, membership in auxiliaries, training classes, weekly prayer service, vacation Bible school as well as spring and fall revivals grew. The parsonage was removed, landscaping enhanced, parking area paved, and a van was purchased. New ministries included the Transportation Ministry- Margaret Wade, Leroy McElveen, and Keith Grice. Educational Assistance Ministry- Doctors Mary Gordon, Rose Hilliard-Wilder, Felicia Butler-Barr, Naomi Kirkland-Bey, Edward Keith, and Belinda Lee. Health Ministry- Margaret Walker. Bible Study Groups for all ages; Prison Ministry; Puppet Ministry; and Praise Team.
The "Melody Gospel Group" was born with Thomasena Green as special gospel organist and director.
Plans were developed for Ebenezer's Fellowship Hall.
Ebenezer's Fellowship Hall cornerstone was laid. The B.S. Fleming Children's Choir was organized with Marjorie Fleming as director and organist.
After Hugo, the church was given a facelift which included bricking the structure. The G.P. Windley Choir was started with Michelle W. Holland as the director and musician.
December 12, 2009
Willian Walker, retired from full-time service as the senior choir musician with more than 60 years of service. She continues to serve as substitute musician when needed.
Replacement of all stained glass windows.