Baptists have played an important role in the development of the religious landscape in the United States since the First Great Awakening. This religious sect’s core of influence eventually migrated south around the turn of the nineteenth century. A battle over the soul of the South would be waged by the Baptists, along with the Methodists, and Presbyterians also moving into the area. This Protestant surge coincided with the decrease in influence of the Episcopal (Anglican) Church after ties with England were severed. In many ways, this battle for the future would occur in the newly settled backcountry of South Carolina. The influx of yeoman farmers pouring into the backcountry were an eager audience to the message of the Separate Baptists that espoused “rejecting creeds and paying little attention to formal doctrine” and in turn focusing on “manifesting a deep belief in the power of the Holy Spirit, and emotional and egalitarian…worship practices.” These great numbers of Separate Baptists would eventually coalesce with the other Baptist sects in the State to dominate the religious landscape. This united group used a variety of factors, including the Convention Plan of Richard Furman, to achieve this eventual dominance. This Convention Plan would become the blueprint on which other state conventions in the South were modeled and ultimately led the way for the Southern Baptist Convention. Most historians give credit for many of the successes of Southern Baptists in the twentieth century to this Convention Plan that completed Baptist denominational unification in South Carolina.
Pruitt, Steven C.
"The Rise of the Baptists in South Carolina: Origins, Revival, and their Enduring Legacy,"
Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of History: Vol. 2:
2, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/ljh/vol2/iss2/6