May the Lord,
maker of Heaven
and earth, bless
you from Zion.
PSALM 134;3

Little River Zion Baptist Church


Samuel Hunter Jr.

Pastor Samuel Hunter

History of Little River Zion Baptist Church

For years this Church has stood as a sentinel pointing men and women, boys and girls to the heavenly way. In the midst of world turmoil, in the face of strife and war, and at times when world ideals are crumbling - this church has always held high the banner of Christ who said “Upon this rock I build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Soon after 1865, Bush River Baptist Church was organized in Newberry County. At that time it was the only place of worship for Black Baptists for miles around.

In later years, Blacks began to move from Newberry to Laurens County, a section settled by Whites from Belfast, Ireland.

The distance to walk every Sunday to Bush River presented a problem. The distance was too far, so a group of Bush River members decided for their best interest to organize a church in the Belfast Community. This idea was agreeable to all members. So shortly thereafter the Church was organized by Rev. June Kennedy. The first pastor was Rev. B. F. Lively.

The organizer of the Church, even though he could not read, would go to Christian-hearted whites and seek information to bring back for each Sunday to the congregation of Blacks and other ethnic backgrounds.

From the first thought that was shed in the minds of the group of organizers, the impact of the Church spread with such force that it instantly became a beacon in the center of the hill that beckons men and women into its path.

From this small edifice, lacking in details of so many things, it has grown to this great capacity. With the banner of Christ ever hanging high those men may follow on. The sincerity of purpose, the warmth of the motives, temple of worship for the rich, the poor, and even the wayfaring who have passed this way.

We pause to salute the pioneers of this effort, who without a doubt, put God in the front, in spite of small financial gain, were able to hold on, carry on, and push forward to here.

There wasn’t much fashion, but much devoutness. There wasn’t light, but the Bible gave light for the way. There was very little warmth, except for maybe a small stove, but there was deep in their hearts – the warmth of God’s love they had for each other.

We have passed over the rough roads that led us here. We have pitched our tents on land near turbulent water, but the leader, who waited in the camp, has caught the gleam of a new day; and because of this it has brought us into a greater and more secure avenue of success.

We honor those that have gone before us with their steadfast devotion to Christ that has given them the guiding light for our Church. We have been blessed by the following God-like devout Christian preachers who have preached the gospel so that everyone could hear of Jesus, know of his goodness and work in the lives of men.

Rev. June Kennedy
Rev. Essex Williams
Rev. J.D. Glenn
Rev. M.A. Cunningham
Rev. B.B Bibs who served until 1901
Rev. E.H. Moore 1910-1912
Rev. R.B. Bracey who served two years
Rev. W.M. Bracey 1915
Rev. J.C. Dunbar 1916
Rev. M.C.H. Dillard 1917-1920
Rev. D.M. Spearman 1921
Rev. S.M. Halsey 1922-1926
Rev. James Matthew 1927-1929
Rev. P. Wallace 1930
Rev. Crosson 1931-1937
Rev. L.M. Robinson 1938-1945
Rev. L.C. Britt
Rev. J.C. Freeman 1945
Rev. James Gray 1968
Rev. Cannon
Rev. Samuel Hunter Jr. Our current elected man of God since 2006

Worship Times

Sunday School: 10am
Worship Service: 11am
Bible Study: 6pm Tuesday

Contact Info

(864) 697-6902
Pastor's Email
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9012 Highway 56
Kinards, SC 29355


Your name, O Lord,
endures forever,
your renown, O Lord,
throughout all ages.
PSALM 135;13