Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Friendship A.M.E. Church & Cemetery / Bell Street Schools

Marker ID: SCHM 30-14
Location: at Friendship Cemetery, N. Bell St. at Friendship Dr., Clinton, SC
County: Laurens
Style: Free Standing **



This church held its first services in a nearby brush arbor shortly after the Civil War and was formally organized in 1880. Trustees purchased this 3-acre lot, and members and friends built a frame church here, naming their congregation Friendship A.M.E. Church. The present brick church on South Bell Street was built in 1937. The cemetery here includes graves of veterans of American wars from World War I to Vietnam.


Friendship School, founded in 1883 by Friendship A.M.E. Church, eventually grew to include grades 1-11. In 1926 it became a public school, moved into a new building, and was renamed Bell Street School. It was the first accredited black high school in the county. The 1950 school nearby became an elementary school in 1956, renamed Martha Dendy School in 1960. Later a middle school, it closed in 2008.

Erected by Friendship A.M.E. Church, 2010