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“B” is for Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention.

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“B” is for Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention. After the Civil War, Baptist congregations serving African Americans quickly formed throughout rural South Carolina. Growth brought with it a need to coordinate some activities, particularly in religious education in Sunday schools, missionary and evangelism activities, and training for clergy. In 1876 representatives from some of these independent African American congregations organized the Colored Baptist Educational, Missionary, and Sunday School Convention to provide leadership. The name was later changed to the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention, and the body is known popularly as the “Baptist E & M.” The convention supports three colleges: Morris in Sumter, Benedict in Columbia, and Friendship in Rock hill. Its headquarters are in Columbia. By 2020 the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention consisted of eleven hundred congregations and some 230,000 members.

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.