The North Walhalla Church of God is a part of the Church of God denomination, with international headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee. Here’s how we became the first Church of God in South Carolina. It was 1886, in a crude meeting house on the Tennessee-North Carolina border, where the Church of God traces its roots. There, a group of eight sincere Christians had a deep desire for a closer relationship and life with Christ. Realizing the futility of reforming their own churches, they established a new church whose objective would be to restore sound scriptural doctrines of the Bible, encourage deeper consecration and promote evangelism and Christian service. Twenty-one years after the formation of the Christian Union that evening at the Barney Creek Meeting House, the growing movement would establish themselves permanently as the Church of God.
From this seemingly insignificant origin has grown one of the most influential worldwide Pentecostal denominations. For nearly 122 years the Church of God has been a distinctive movement focused upon communicating the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Presently, the Church of God has a world-wide membership of over 6 million with a presence in nearly 150 countries. Leaders of the Church of God are recognized as some of the most respected Pentecostal leaders of today.
The beginnings of the church we now know as North Walhalla Church of God were just as humble. Sometime around 1912 or 1913 Rev. J.C. Underwood boarded a train in Tennessee and headed for South Carolina. When he arrived in the Walhalla area he met Jacob H. Chapman, of the Fairfield Community, who allowed Rev. Underwood to set up his tent on his property. Revival broke out in the community and God poured out His power on those who attended the revival meetings. It is believed that the tent remained on this same site for as long as one year or more; and then because of certain problems that arose, the group divided. Those who remained continued their regular services, although they were not officially organized as a church. The larger group moved with Rev. Underwood to the Ebenezer Community. The congregation worshiped there for some time, but as an unorganized church. From this site the group moved about five miles up the road toward Mount Pleasant. They used a building owned by Fred S. Morgan, a building formerly used for storing cotton.
In 1914, Mr. Morgan gave the group of believers an acre of land upon which to build their first church building. This land was located in the Oconee Creek Community. Until the building was erected the group continued to worship at Morgan's place. Then, on July 15, 1914, the first Church of God in South Carolina was organized with eighteen members. The members were Frank Richie, Mr. & Mrs. T. J. Eades, Mr. & Mrs. Issa Eades, Mr. & Mrs. John Pearson, Mr. & Mrs. Sam Pearson, Mr. & Mrs. Will Pearson, Mr. & Mrs. Bea Owens, Mrs. Jacob Chapman, Mr. J.B. Eades, Clara Lee, and Mr. & Mrs. Cleve Vaughn. The church was first called the Church of God at Walhalla, and then later Walhalla #2 Church of God, presumably because it was located on rural mail route #2. Another Church of God had been established in town which was called Walhalla #1. The name was changed again in 1984 to North Walhalla Church of God to help differentiate the two churches. Despite the name change, old friends of the church still refer to it as #2.
In August of 1915 the new church building was started, and services were first held in the church on June 14, 1916. J.C. Underwood, who had been responsible for bringing the Church of God message into the State of South Carolina three or four years prior, was the church’s first pastor, as well as the second state overseer of South Carolina. The little frame building that the church occupied was later brick veneered.
In 1954, a new sanctuary was built and the old sanctuary was converted to Sunday School classrooms. The fellowship hall was erected in 1969, and in 1974, the original church building was taken down and a new two-story educational wing was built in its place. During the same time, the sanctuary underwent major renovations. After many years, the church continued to grow until the need for a new sanctuary was evident.
The present sanctuary was built in 1996, and was dedicated September 8th of that year. Future plans include the building of an educational and recreational facility behind the new sanctuary. The foundation that North Walhalla began building on in 1914 is the same foundation it stands on today. North Walhalla’s buildings look different, its music sounds different, and even its methods of ministry are different. But one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s the church’s commitment to building a house of hope for all people.
About Our Church
The first church building was built in 1916. This photo was taken in 1944.
The church was later brick veneered. This photo was taken in 1948.
A new sanctuary was completed in 1954. The original church building was replaced by the two-story educational wing in 1974, along with an update to the sanctuary.
This photo was taken in 1970.
Interior of the second sanctuary, taken in 1970.
The present sanctuary was built in 1996.
North Walhalla Church of God was established in 1914 as the first Church of God in South Carolina. Our church is a part of the Church of God with international headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Refuel For Your Journey—7:00pm
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11