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“F” is for Fuller, William Edward (1875-1958)

“F” is for Fuller, William Edward (1875-1958). Clergyman. Born in Laurens County, Fuller believed that he had been sanctified in 1895. After reading about a third blessing, the “baptism of fire,” he had another intense religious experience in 1897 when he received the third blessing. In 1898 he was ordained in the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association. Fuller devoted himself to organizing African American congregations for the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association. Within two years he had helped found more than fifty congregations in South Carolina and north Georgia. A dynamic preacher, he claimed to have spurred some five hundred conversions. In 1908 African American members of the association formed a separate denomination, the Colored Fire-Baptized Holiness Church. William Edward Fuller became the new denomination’s general overseer and its first bishop—a position he held until his death.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.