learn about our rich history

South Quay Baptist Church was founded on March 1, 1775 by 21-year-old pioneer minister and anti-slavery pastor, David Barrow. The founding members included 19 blacks and 23 whites.  The original structure was the only building in South Quay that survived British attacks during the Revolutionary War. It was a branch of the Mill Swamp Baptist Church until October 1, 1785. At that time, it became a separate fellowship. In 1798, under mounting pressure, Barrow fled to Kentucky where he believed one could still make a living from farming without the dependence on slavery. 

"Reverend Barrow spent 24 years as a Baptist minister in Southampton, VA and adjacent counties, where he started the South Quay Baptist Church in 1776 (also known as the Black Creek Church). Reverend Barrow was also known as an outspoken opponent of slavery — both for political and religious reasons. He was convinced that slavery was against the revealed word of God and the principles of republican government. Barrow believed that all men were naturally equal and that liberty was the "inalienable privilege of all men regardless of complexion, shape and size". In a widely-published speech in 1798, Barrow said that no man had the right to hold another in bondage. Even if the present masters were kind, slaves could be sold or become heir to someone cruel without legal recourse." -James V. Clark

The church was located on the west side of the South Quay Bridge on Highway 189 until 1835. It was known as Kehukee Baptist Church. A split occurred over the work of missions in 1835. As a result, those in favor of supporting missions work built the present church, then known as Reedy Branch Baptist Church. The original church across the river was sold for lumber. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1889. The present church was completely renovated between 1970 and 1975. The stained glass windows in the sanctuary were dedicated on December of 1993. 

Under the leadership of Reverend Mark Andrew Warren, the work of building God's kingdom continues in this local fellowship today. Following Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will continue to strive together to accomplish the work God has placed before us.