Kirkland Church (Smyrna Baptist Church)
Kirkland (Smyrna) Church
Smyrna Baptist Church

Kirkland Church (Smyrna) (Public)
Bluff Rd.
Allendale, S.C. 29810

Smyrna Baptist Church, located on Bluff Road in Allendale County, is an antebellum frame structure of meeting house design set on a low brick foundation that gained prominence in the early 19 th century. It was called Kirkland Church for the Reverend Kirkland and evolved from Kirkland’s Chapel, founded in 1815. Local tradition maintains that the present structure was erected in 1827, the year the church was organized. A central Palladian window flanked by balancing nine-paneled entrance doors with transoms characterizes the front entrance. Both side facades feature the 9/9 windows with louvered shutters with eyebrow type windows located above each window. The original roof was covered by metal in the 1970s. Symrna Baptist Church was organized in 1827 and was then called Kirkland Church, a member of the Savannah River Baptist Association. Early in the history of the church, a heresy trial on charges of heterodoxy against Dr. W.R. Erwin, his wife, Julia Robert, and her sister-in-law, Rachel Robert. The trial was held when the parties asked for an official ruling on their views about communion. In July 1833 the three were excommunicated from Kirkland Church and later formed Antioch Christian Church. In 1836, the name was changed to Smyrna Baptist Church. The land was conveyed in 1849 by William J. Mixon. In 1882, additional land was given by Thomas H. Willingham in order to extend the church property to Mathew’s Bluff Rd. (now Bluff Rd.) The surrounding cemetery is a who’s who of the community. The church was listed in the National Register May 28, 1976.

Photo source: National Register of Historic Places program at the SC Department of Archives and History
Information provided by SC Archives and History

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