Williamsburg County, S. C. 

Area Publications Available 
For details on publications and membership information please contact:

Three Rivers Historical Society
P. O. Box 811 - Hemingway, S. C. 29554 - (803)558-2355

The Baptist Black Mingo Church    Article from: The Three Rivers Chronicle (Volume 1, No. 3)

Narrative Reminiscences in Williamsburg "Narrative Reminiscences in Williamsburg" (pub. 1894) by Dr. Samuel Davis McGill (b. 1819, d. 1897), notes of- 1. people from other places that were associated with the author- 2. people that moved from other states to Williamsburg- 3. people that moved to other states from Williamsburg and- 4. people that moved within the state of South Carolina.

    Census Records:
      • Clarendon County - 1860
      • Darlington County -1850 - 1860
      • Florence County - 1900 ( 2 Vols. )
      • Georgetown County - 1850 - 1860 - 1880
      • Marion County - 1820 - 1830 - 1840 - 1850 - 1860 - 1870 - 1880
      • Sumter County - 1850 - 1860
      • Williamsburg County - 1790 thru 1840 - 1850 - 1860 - 1870 - 1880 - 1900
      Church Records:
      • The Register Book for the Parish Prince Frederick Winyaw - Ann: Dom: 1713, 225 pgs.,
      • History of the Williamsburg Church - J. A. Wallace, Pastor, 1856 ca. 1736
      • Exerpts from the Minutes of Bethel Baptist Church, Olanta, S. C.
      • Marriage, Funeral and Baptism Records of Rev. B. K. Truluck
      • Minute Books of Hebron Baptist Church
      • Minutes of Union Meetings of Ebenezer, Elim, High Hill Creek Baptist Church 1818-1843
      • Methodist Episcopal Church, Georgetown, S. C.
      • Register Johnsonville Circuit S. C. Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
      Genealogies/Family Histories:
      • Ancestry and Descendants of James Bingham of Marion District, S. C. - 100+ pg.
      • A Bradham Family History and Genealogy - 600+ pg.
      • Browntown Museum History/Genealogy - 304 pg.
      • The Cain Tree and Tangled Branches - 174 pg.
      • Coward-Cowart Family of South Carolina - 100+ pg.
      • Cox-Wheeler and Related Families - 250+ pg.
      • The Davis Family In Wales and America - 375 pg.
      • The Promised Land - The James Eaddy Family in S. C. - 384 pg.
      • The Descendants of Jacob Godwin - 200 pg
      • The James Malcolmson Gowdy Family in S. C.
      • Happy Heritage: Genealogies of Seven Southern Families - Lee, Benton, Singletary, Timmons, Myers, Harrell, Cannon
      • A Genealogy of a Lee Family, Ancestry and Descendants of David Lee, Sr. - 83 pg.
      • A Genealogy of a Locklair Family
      • A Traditional McCants Family History 1590-1980 - 200+ pg.
      • Our Kin - The James McCutcheon Family in S. C. - 250+ pg.
      • Daniel and Rebecca McKenzie, Old Williamsburg and Sumter Districts of S. C. - 100 pg.
      • A Poston Family of S. C. - 275 pg
      • The Promise Land - The James Eaddy Family in S. C. - 384 pg.
      Cemetary Surveys:
      • Volume I - Presbyterian Cemetary, Kingstree, S. C. & Old Baptist at Black River
      • Volume II - Approx. 24 Local Cemetaries
      • Volume III - Approx. 30 Local Cemetaries
      • A Survey of Cemetaries in Florence, Williamsburg and Clarendon Counties
      • Mt. Hope Cemetary and Mausoleum - Florence, S. C. - 183 pg
      • A Survey of 22 Cemetaries in the Johnsonville - Hemingway Area of Williamsburg District, S. C. - 193 pg.
      • A Survey of Thirty Cemetaries in the Eastern Section of Lower Florence County, S. C.
      • A Survey of Cemetaries in Lower Florence County, S. C. - Vol. III
      • A Survry of Cemetaries in Lower Florence County, S. C. - Vol. IV - 126 pg.
      • Cemetaries Between the Black and Santee Rivers, Williamsburg Co., S. C.
      • Twenty Five Cemetaries of the Tri-County Area of Florence, Williamsburg, and Georgetown Counties.
      • Florence National Cemetary (almost 7400 Vets. from the Civil War to Somalia)
      • A Sketch of the Life of Brig. General Francis Marion
      • Williamsburg County Confederate Enlistment Records 1862-1864
      • Williamsburg County Records of Confederate Pensioners 1905-1911
      • Call to Arms (Civil War)
      • Civil War Parks
      • Letters of Thomas Moses Britton 1862-1863
      • A Roster of Patriots Who Served with Francis Marion
      Public Records:
      • Williamsburg County Probate Records -1806-1900
      • Abstracts of Williamsburg County Equity Records - 1823-1870
      • Abstracts of Williamsburg County Deed Books A, B, C, D, & E
      • Williamsburg County Inventories & Sales (3 Vols.) 1841-1908
      • Index to Williamsburg County, S. C. General Sessions Court 1806-1906
      • Index of Marriage Notices - Williamsburg County Newspapers 1897-1994
      • Index of Obituary Notices - Williamsburg County Newspapers 1897-1994
      • Abstracts of Georgetown County Wills
      • Marion County School Records 1849-1864
      • Marion County Extracts from Equity Rolls
      • Marion County Probate Records - Vols. I, II, III
      Books and References:
      • Narrative Reminescences in Williamsburg (1894) by Dr. Samuel Davis McGill
      • Early Pee Dee Settlers by John M. Gregg
      • History of Williamsburg (1923) by William Willis Boddie
      • There is a River by Rev. W. R. Prichett
      • Life Along the Santee River in Williamsburg County by P. G. Gourdin
      • The Historical Background of the Brown's Ferry Vessel by Rowena Counson Nylund
      • The Research of Anne Tindall - Vols. I & II
      • Bartell Journels (1823-1864)
      • Family Bible Records - 300+ pg. - 7500+ entries
      • Quarterly Publication with Membership

    The Baptist Black Mingo Church

    By: Elaine Y. Eaddy

    Built with slave labor by Cleland Belin on his own land, Black Mingo Baptist Church is all that remains of the settlement called in the early 1760's Black Mingo and later Willtown. The church was erected in 1843. Services are held there each fifth Sunday of the month.

    Belin was a descendant of Elisha Screven who laid out the town of Georgetown, from which place Cleland Belin came to Willtown as a boy. He lived there the rest of his life, becoming a wealthy merchant. He married Sarah Margaret McFadden; of this marriage there were thirteen children, eleven of whom died before the age of five years. The two who survived were Sarah Jane who married Dr. S. D. M. Byrd and Rebecca Ann who married George J. Graham.

    Belin died September 13, 1868. His will, somewhat pious and melancholy in tone, devises the church and two acres of land to "such Trustees as may be elected by the votes of the white members of the said church." And in the same clause, "The said church is not to be controlled and managed by its colored members at any time hereafter." Despite his piety, Belin was not a saint. His name appears in the criminal records; he was "had up" for assault and battery. He begged to be excused from jury duty because of hemorrhoids. It was twenty-five years after his death before his estate was settled, perhaps because of the chaotic conditions prevailing after the Civil War.

    The church, on which he surely lavished much love and attention, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was chosen last spring for the Historic Buildings Survey and was the subject of an exhaustive documentary history, large format photographs, a definitive architectural description, and precise measured drawings. Only one site in the entire U.S. is so chosen from the National Register each year. The completed drawings, documentary history, photographs and description are preserved in the Library of Congress and are available for use and reproduction by the public.

    According to the National Register nomination, "this church is a significant example of a local interpretation of the Greek Revival style. The church has been maintained and is virtually unaltered except for the roof covering. Notable architectural features are: the round window and door openings with intersecting tracery; the two-story unfluted corner pilasters; the wide beaded entablature; the deep, boxed pediments; and the slave gallery supported by elongated columns." The Puritan influence can be seen in the choice of Scripture painted on the friezes. Interior West, for instance, quotes, "The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Baptist doctrine shines through the quotation on a wooden plaque above the rostrum: "God knows thy thoughts. Verily, verily, I say unto thee; except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

    Unfortunately, this fine landmark was burned to the ground by vandals in 1992.