Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Mt. Canaan Baptist Church

Marker ID: SCHM 19-16
Location: 2451 Edgefield Rd. (U.S. Hwy. 25), S of Trenton, SC
County: Edgefield
Coordinates: N 33° 40.118    W 081° 52.717
  33.66863333    -81.87861666
Style: Free Standing **


This church, founded in 1868, was one of the first black Baptist churches in this area. Alexander Bettis (1836-1895), a former slave, established this church with the assistance of three white ministers after the local Baptist association refused to ordain him. Mt. Canaan grew from seventeen charter members to more than 2,000 members in only three years.

This was the first of forty churches Rev. Alexander Bettis organized in Edgefield and Aiken Counties. He also founded Bettis Academy in 1881. He served Mt. Canaan and three other area churches until his death in 1895, and is buried here. Early services were held in a brush arbor. The original frame sanctuary was replaced by the present brick sanctuary in 1961.

Erected by the Congregation, 200