St. Paul AME Church / Oak Grove AME
One of the first black churches after the Civil War, St. Paul AME began as Oak Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church. Local tradition says that the original small congregation worshipped in the 1850s in the “Bush Arbor,” later in the 1880s building a church on present Kennerly Rd. In the 1930s this was moved to its present site 3/10 mi. north. By 1870 a substantial black settlement had developed in this area of the Dutch Fork Township known as Oak Grove. Prominent in its history have been the families of Octavius Bookman, Miles Bowman, Henry Corley, Moses Geiger, and John Richardson.
KEYWORDS: AME, RECONSTRUCTION, BRUSH ARBOR, IRMO, COLUMBIA, RICHLAND COUNTY