History of St. Andrews Road Church of Christ
Columbia, South Carolina
In the early 1920s John David Smith, Sr., and his wife, Ethel Cox Smith, moved to Columbia. He worked for Southern Railroad and was transferred to Columbia with the railroad. Before moving to Columbia, Brother Smith was an elder of the church in Rome, Georgia. The Smiths moved here with their eight children, two of whom were Lillian Smith Dillard and Mildred Smith Yenny. When they arrived, there was not a congregation of the Lord's church in Columbia. Brother Smith's work took him out of town much of the time, and he found it difficult to establish a congregation. He tried on numerous occasions to interest others in coming to Columbia to establish the Lord' s church. In those days the whole State of South Carolina was virtually a mission field.
Brother Smith began the first part of the year 1930 and into the year 1931 studying with the family of M. P. Mitchum. The Mitchums obeyed the gospel in 1932. In 1934 Brother Smith advertised in the "Gospel Advocate" for a preacher to come to Columbia to assist in planting the Lord's church. Carl Clifton Dillard answered the ad and came to conduct a gospel meeting. (An interesting note: Brother M. P. Mitchum sold a cow to pay the expenses of this gospel meeting.) Bro. Dillard moved to Columbia to join with the Smith and Mitchums to establish the church in the capital city of South Carolina. They first met in a rented hall in the 900 block of Main Street and then in the Union Hall in the 1100 block of Hampton Street. On March 24, 1935, a house was rented at 1604 Bull Street in which to meet and, also, were the living quarters for the minister, Carl Dillard, who had subsequently married Lillian Smith, a daughter of the Smiths.
In 1939 after more growth, the congregation constructed a frame building 1026 Pope Street. This building was modest but held great sentimental value since it was built by the hands of the members. During the period of 1939 to 1958, the congregation at Pope Street struggled to save themselves and others. They grew stronger slowly but steadily. In February 1951, the first elders in the history of the congregation were appointed. The congregation enjoyed great growth, both spiritually and numerically; and in 1957 the Pope Street building was remodeled and expanded.
It soon became obvious that the congregation had to be relocated due to the increased attendance. In 1958 property was obtained at 2909 Park Street. Growth was very rapid during the eight years the congregation was located on Park Street. In the mid-1960s Columbia's population began shifting towards the suburbs. Quite a few of the members lived in the new and rapidly growing area of St. Andrews. After prayerful consideration the elders decided to sell the Park Street property and move to the St. Andrews area. Six and a half acres were purchased at 425 St. Andrews Road. In the 1970s the congregation doubled its membership as many souls responded to the Lord's invitation. In February of 1991, it was necessary to have two Sunday morning worship services to accommodate the large Sunday morning attendances. It was soon decided the construct a new auditorium, and on June 28, 1991 the congregation was blessed to begin meeting in its new 600-seat auditorium with a spacious wrap-around lobby.
We treasure the efforts of the last 70 years of the ministers and the Christian men and women who have gone before us. We are sincerely grateful to our current membership who continue to give so generously of their time, efforts, and finances to further the gospel of Christ in Columbia and South Carolina. God has blessed this congregation in so many ways, and we pray that the future of the Saint Andrews Road congregation will be even brighter in the future than it has been in the past.
Compiled from the notes of Haskell M. Yenny, Sr
By Shelby Yenny Satterfield