History of Holland Avenue Baptist Church
Holland Avenue Baptist Church was begun by a group of mission-minded Christians who felt God leading them to form another Southern Baptist Church in the Cayce-West Columbia Area. This group left the First Baptist Church of West Columbia to act on their faith in the organization of a new church.
The church was constituted on March 13, 1955, with 137 members. The privilege of becoming a charter member was extended to April 1, 1955, increasing the total charter membership to 169. The church first met in an old two-story grocery building located at 1029 Meeting Street, West Columbia. Originally needing 9 Sunday School classrooms, the old grocery store was a heavenly match for the infant church offering exactly 9 rooms on the second floor. As the church grew, Sunday School classes were held in old school buses to accommodate members.
As the make-shift church began to overflow, plans for a new location became necessary. The present site located on 12th Street, between "E" and "F" avenues became home to Holland Avenue Baptist Church. (Holland Avenue was the original street name in Cayce thought to expand toward West Columbia and replace 12th Street. Holland Avenue was never expanded, and 12th Street has always remained the church's address.) A 3-part building program began in January, 1956. The first unit was opened on September 30,1956. A second unit was soon added and opened on April 16, 1961. The third and final phase began April 22, 1968, construction for a 1,000 seat auditorium. On April 27, 1969, the realization of a dream came true and the auditorium was opened for services.
The sanctuary was renovated in 1994, and a new addition was built in 2006 to provide for our growing M.O.M. Pre-School program (Morning Out for Moms) as well as more Sunday School rooms. Our church has had several distinguished men of faith serve as pastor. Dr. John R. Jester came out of retirement to serve as supply pastor the first 11 months. Our first full time pastor was Reverend Paul Bullington. He served from 1956 to 1978. Reverend Rufus Chaneyworth served from 1978 to 1985. Dr. Richard McDuffie served from 1985 to 1988. Following Dr. McDuffie, Rev. Charles Wilson served our church from February 1989 until March 2013. Dr. Ken Harmon served as the Transitional Pastor until the church called Rev. Dow Welsh to serve beginning in November of 2014.