Heritage of Fairforest Baptist Church

On December 27, 1885, forty-two men and women met for the purpose of organizing themselves into a Missionary Baptist Church. They elected Captain T.B. Martin, moderator, and Brother J.H. Dodd, clerk, and proceeded to receive by letter 23 charter members from Oak Grove Baptist Church and 19 from Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The Rev. C.T. Scaife was called as their first pastor.

First Building: from December 1885 until March 1889 the church met in the public school building. The first "church house" was erected on the present site by the members and dedicated the fifth Sunday in March, 1889. Rev. C.T. Scaife resigned in June 1888 and the following pastors served until 1941. Rev. P.P. Blalock (June - Dec. 1888): Rev. W.T. Derieux (Jan. 1889 - Dec. 1891): Rev. J.R. Aiken (Jan. 1892 - June 1918): Rev. L.D. Mitchell (June 1918 - Jan. 1920): Rev. C.M. Griffin (Aug. 1920 - Jan. 1923): Rev. C. Boyd (Jan. 1923 - until his death in Jan. 1924): Rev. W.R. Smith (May 1924 - Feb. 1925): Rev. E.L. Joyner (March 1925 - Nov. 1928): Dr. H.K. Ezell (Dec. 1928 - Jan. 1941). Rev. C.B. Prince served as pastor of Fairforest Baptist from March, 1942, until his retirement in May 1957. In August, 1948, an auditorium building was completed and equipped. It contained 31 Sunday school rooms and an auditorium with a seating capacity of over 500. In November 1957, Rev. W.B. Bolt was called as pastor and served until February 1970. Buckeye Baptist During Rev. Bolt's tenure a building containing 19 Sunday School rooms and 3 offices was completed (1959); all buildings were redecorated and air-conditioned (1964 - 1967); and the Buckeye Forest Chapel was purchased from the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg (1964).

Rev. Eugene Rollins served as full-time student pastor at the mission, which grew from a charter membership of 43 to a membership of 115 and became a church in its own right in April, 1969. High points in the life of the Church include the ordination of several of our men to the gospel ministry. These include Thomas Dobson, Stephen Crain, Steve Cromer, Andy Higgins and Monty King. In 1970, Rev. Joe Dempsey became pastor of our church and served through October 1985. During his pastorate, our church made several land purchases opening the way for future development. In December, 1986, our church called Dr. James C. Hilton as pastor. Under his leadership our church experienced continuous growth and began and completed an enlargement/renovation project of our entire church facilities. He resigned in 2004, and will always have a special place in the history of our church and especially in our hearts. Dr. Alastair Walker, our interim pastor from July, 2004, to August, 2005, led our church to new heights. Under his leadership, our church continued to thrive as we searched for a new pastor. Rev. Gary Hensley followed, then Kermit Morris served as interim. After an interim period, he was called to a fulltime position on January 1, 2010 until he retired in 2012. Rev. Brent Dowis was then called in February of 2013 to lead the church into the future. Rev. David Swofford was called as our transitional pastor in January 2019 to guide us through our next steps of growth.

Pastors of Fairforest:

Rev. C. T. Scaife 1885-1888
Rev. P. P. Blalock 1888
Rev. W. T. Derieux 1889-1891
Rev. J. R. Aiken 1892-1918
Rev. L. D. Mitchell 1918-1920
Rev. C. M. Griffin 1920-1923
Rev. C. D. Boyd 1923-1924
Rev. W. R. Smith 1924-1925
Rev. E. L. Joyner 1925-1928
Rev. H. K. Ezell 1928-1941
Rev. C. B. Prince 1941-1957
Rev. W. B. Bolt 1957-1970
Rev. Joe Dempsey 1970-1985
Dr. Jimmy Hilton 1986-2004
Dr. Alastair Walker 2004-2005
Rev. Gary Hensley 2005-2007
Rev. Kermit Morris 2010-2012
Rev. Brent Dowis 2013-2017
Rev. David Swofford 2019-Present