Historic Gullah Heritage Images

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The Second Gethsemane Baptist Church (ca. 1892)

Second Gethsemane is located in the Historic Whale Branch area of Beaufort County.  Bordered by what once was Port Royal Ferry and what we know as modern-day Gray's Hill.  It is located on the site of H. M.  Stuart's Plantation and was a home acquired when he married Barnwell descendant Mary Howe Barnwell thirty yeras before the Civil War.  The actual church was built by the community of African American Civil War Soldiers that settled on the area known as the "The Point."  The community's leader, Shedrick Manigo would donate the acres for the church and he and his three sons would "split the pine logs" to build the church in 1892.  His wife, the daughter of Cornelius Singleton, one of Beaufort Baptist Church's early slave Deacons, was the mother of the church and at the time of this church's building, they had been married 15 years.  

 

Still existing in the community today, direct descendants of Mr. Manigo, continue to make sure that his legacy survives.  The most well-known being Beaufort Civil Rights Activist Lawrence "Baby" Washington, President of NAACP of Beaufort in 1969.  And best known for his work with the courageous Dr. Donald Gatch of this county, who brought attention to the plight of Beaufort's poor by bringing national attention to the devastating malnutrition and unsanitary conditions.  

 

The church sits near the childhood home of Aiken County, SC Founder, Prince Rivers, dubbed "The Black Prince" by newspapers of the day he would have a long and illustrious political career in Reconstruction era South Carolina.  He is best written up by the famed Union Army Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson who was also a member of the "Secret Six" in his book, "Army Life in a Black Regiment."  Prince, would not settle down on Oak Point Plantation, modern-day Stuart Point, but his daughter and his immediate descendants would live in Beaufort until their deaths.  It is believed his only direct  descendants reside in Beaufort right here in Beaufort.

 

KEY NAMES affiliated with Second Gethsemane: Shedrick Manigo, David Delaney, Charles Delaney, Ben Washington, George Washington, Sammis Williams, Elizabeth Manigo Singleton, Shedrick Manigo, Jr., Charles Washington, Sandy Brown, James Williams, Pompey Deveaux.

Family Names Attributed to this church:

 

  • Washington; Pierce; Heyward; Green;

  • Williams; Reed; Smalls; Manigo;

  • Cook; Brown; Eugene; Delaney;

  • Stuart; Barnwell; Abner; Bell; Doctor;

  • Layton; Fields; 

 

Key Dates

 

  • 1824 - Prince (Manigo) Rivers born here.

  • 1863 - The 1st SC assigned picket duty Port Royal Ferry.

  • 1877 - Shedrick Manigo marries Elizabeth Singleton.

  • 1892 - First church structure built.

  • 1893 - The Sea Island Hurricane destroys the church.

  • 1894 - The church soon rebuilt.

Sources:

 

Army Life in a Black Regiment by Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Roupelmond: A study by Michael Trinkley, Chicora Foundation

Reminiscences by Susie King Taylor

The Obituary of Prince Rivers 13 April 1887, The Aiken Review