On Oct. 20 at 10:30 a.m., the Woodruff Church of God will hold a dedication service for its new location at 6385 Highway 101. The church is moving from its former location at 172 Poole Street Extension.
The church’s origins date back nearly 90 years.
In 1932, Chester Hendrix had been coming to Woodruff from Laurens to Holiness church services being held in different places. Some of the meetings were held in homes and others were held outdoors under trees and tents.
Later that year, Hendrix prayed for employment and housing in Woodruff, and said he would let this holiness group of believers meet in his home. Soon enough, Hendrix secured a job working at Abney Mills in Woodruff. He moved into a mill house at 11 Buncombe Street and received permission to have church at his house.
It is reported that Hendrix traded his shotgun for an organ. The group bought two dozen chairs and started having church at the residence.
Different itinerant ministers came and preached, one of them being Euless Guy. He talked to the leaders of the group and suggested having a Church of God congregation organized in Woodruff.
The Church of God sent two ministers, sisters Katie and Sophie Herring. They had a service up town under a big magnolia tree during the day and a night service on Buncombe Street at Chester Hendrix home.
On Aug. 5, the Church of God at Woodruff was organized and set in order by Reverend W.W. White. He was the church’s first Pastor. He was also the pastor at the Saxon Church of God in Spartanburg, which is now called Fairforest Church of God.
The church organized with seven charter members. They were Will Medlock, Alvin Hendrix, Chester Hendrix, Theresa Teague, Edna Mae Teague, Stella Teague and Mozell Teague.
In the early few years of the church, several people threatened to run the church out of town. At this time, Pentecostal churches faced much persecution. But the young church found favor with the leaders of the Abney Mills.
In the summer of 1935, the church relocated to Poole Street, renting a commercial building for $8 a month. Having this building helped the church grow.
By 1937, the church had grown from seven members to 17. In the fall of that same year, the leaders of the Abney Mills gave the church the property.
In March of 1938, the first sanctuary was completed. Two months later, a revival was held in which 50 people were saved. Thad Knight, who would go on to serve as the clerk of the church for several decades, was among those saved.
Today, the church that started out with seven members is now at over 750.
The following is a list of the church’s pastors from the beginning to present.
1933-1934 Reverend W.W. White
1934-1937 Reverend Jimmy Clevenger
1937-1939 Reverend W. Frank Smith
1939-1941 Reverend Robert Johnson
1941-1943 Reverend O.H. Tollison
1943-1944 Reverend W.H. Huddleston
1944-1946 Reverend G.T. Wilson
1946 Reverend H.A. Mushegan
1946-1948 Reverend P.H. McSwain
1948-1952 Reverend L.R. Patterson
1952-1953 Reverend W.E. Hunter
1953-1963 Reverend Oscar Volkman
1963-1964 Reverend W.J. Hodge
1964-1972 Reverend H.L. Hunt
1972-1977 Reverend Brady Dennis
1977-1984 Reverend Wade H. Horton
1984-1986 Reverend Charlie Driggers
1986-2009 Reverend James H. Shealy
2009-2018 Reverend Curtis D. Terry
2018 to present Reverend Jonathan Knight