History of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church
1866 - Present
February 11, 1866 - 1908 Macedonia Baptist Church, Darlington, SC, was organized under the dynamic leadership of Rev. I. P. Brockenton, an ex- slave from Lee County, when a group of black members withdrew from First Baptist Church. He was assisted in this effort by a white Northern Baptist Missionary, Dr. Charles Henry Corey and a black pastor from Philadelphia, Rev. James Hamilton. These pioneers were able to procure the names of the thirteen charter members from the First Baptist Church of this city: Evans Bell, Adam Brockenton, Peter Dargan, Fred Duncan, Lazarus Ervin, Hamilton Keith, Samuel Keith, Antrum McIver, Samuel McIver, Samuel Orr, Samuel Parnell, Jesse Williams, and Augustus Smalls. Rev. Brockenton and the fervent little congregation met under bush arbors and in homes until it moved into its first permanent church building at Hampton and Russell Streets. Tradition says first meetings of this Baptist Church were held in the home of Laura Brown. Rev. Brockenton, along with the trustees, purchased the land and an old house on what is now called Hampton and Russell Streets for the sum of three-hundred dollars making a down payment of one-hundred fifty dollars. Deeds for the property were recorded December 19, 1866. A house of worship was constructed on the N.E. corner of present S. Main and Hampton streets on land purchased during 1866-1874. The first trustees were Evans Bell, Peter Dargan, Lazarus Ervin, Antrum McIver, Samuel McIver, Samuel Orr, and Samuel Parnell. The present site was acquired in 1922 and the building occupied Feb. 3, 1935. Dr. Brockenton stated that when he told his congregation that it was time to build a church, he placed one lone quarter on the offering table. That quarter, he said, was laughed to scorn, however, one year later the congregation was walking into a new house of worship, despite the laughter. The first permanent structure was located at Hampton and Russell Streets in Darlington. Macedonia used this structure until 1935. Dr. Brockenton was moderator for the Pee Dee Baptist Association from 1883 -1908. He faithfully served Macedonia for forty-two years before his death on January 6,1908.
1908 - 1916 Rev. P.A. Callaham assumed the pastorate of Macedonia early in 1908. The church grew numerically and spiritually under his leadership.
1916 - 1920 Dr. James E. Kirkland became the third pastor of Macedonia in the latter part of 1916. He was a man of great vision who planted the seed that inspired the congregation to build the present church structure. Under his leader- ship, after members began to solicit funds and make many personal sacrifices, on November 21, 1919, they were able to buy the land at Lee and South Main Street for $2,500.00. Rev. Kirkland resigned in 1920 when he accepted the pastorate of the White Rock Baptist Church in Durham, NC.
1920 - 1925 Dr. Charles DuBois Hubert's pastorate is best remembered for his keen interest in the youth of the church and his unfaltering effort to begin the erection of the present edifice. Crop failure and unemployment prevented him from seeing the church completed during his pastorate which ended in 1925, when he resigned to devote all of his time to his work at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Dr. Hubert was director of the Morehouse School of Religion from 1924 until his death in 1944. He also served as an instructor of Church History and was the acting president of Morehouse from 1937- 1940.
1927 - 1945 Dr. H. W. Long was called to Macedonia in 1927 and enjoyed a long successful pastorate. It was through Dr. Long's leadership that the congregation was able to secure adequate funds to resume construction on the present edifice. After 13 years of building, and even though the structure was not complete, the members were happy to be able to walk into their new home and they did so on a cold February morning in 1935. In 1945, the pastorate of Dr. Long ended as he assumed the leadership of Salem Baptist Church in the city.
1945 - 1990 Continuing the great tradition established by his predecessors, Rev. C. L. Bowens became the sixth pastor of Macedonia and was a catalyst for great positive change in Macedonia. Under his untiring guidance, many physical improvements were made: edifice was completed and decorated, central heating unit installed, dining and church school completed, nursery and video ministry established, elevator installed, church van purchased, sanctuary remodeled, musical instruments and rest room facilities provided. Rev. Bowens and his lovely wife were two great educators who were well loved and greatly respected by the Darlington community. They gave of themselves tirelessly and are greatly missed. Dr. Bowens enjoyed forty-five years of dedicated service to Macedonia.
During the illness of Dr. Bowens, October 1981, the Board of Deacons secured the service of Rev. Donald L. Hughes, Sr. He became the first minister to be voted on and accepted as Assistant Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church, September 3,1985.
Through the splendid workmanship of togetherness with Dr. Bowens and Rev. Hughes, the congregation continued to grow. September 30,1990, Dr. Bowens retired due to illness.
1990 - 2008 Rev. Donald L. Hughes succeeded Dr. Bowens, November 1990 and became the seventh pastor of this historic church. Rev. Hughes brought to Macedonia an emphasis on education. As a former math teacher and football coach, he was especially interested in the intellectual development of the church. He and his lovely wife, Mrs. Hattie Hughes, worked with the Sunday School Department of the Pee Dee Baptist Association and the State & National Congresses of Christian Education. Under Rev. Hughes pastorate, Macedonia Life Skills 501c3 was established to enable Macedonia to qualify for various grants to help better serve the youth and disadvantaged in our church and community. Rev. Hughes implemented Bible Study on Tuesday nights and at noon on Wednesdays, Christian Education Ministry, Men's Ministry, Mentoring Program, Emergency Food Pantry, USDA Monthly Food Distribution for the community, Summer Feeding & Enrichment Program for children eighteen and below in the community, and established a Saturday morning tutoring for public school children, kindergarten through grade twelve. Many physical improvements were made: kitchen remodeled, parking lot paved and striped, windows and carpet replaced, parsonage decorated and furnished, and church office computerized. Rev. and Mrs. Hughes are still actively involved in the Pee Dee Baptist Family and they reside in Hartsville.
2009 - Present Rev. Dr. Cecil L. Bromell became the eighth pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church on the second Sunday in February and was installed in April of that same year. Pastor Bromell, a graduate of Morris College and the Morehouse School of Religion, is a full time pastor who commits himself to serving the needs of his congregation and even finds time to assist persons not affiliated with Macedonia. His pastorate focuses on youth and family development and he actively seeks ways to involve Macedonia in programs and activities that will improve relationships and build bridges in the community. Pastor Bromell is a community-oriented person who works hard to bring people together, regardless of race or origin, into the body of Christ. Pastor Bromell has added two positions to the church staff: Youth Minister and Office Administrator. Under his pastorate, many programs and ministries have been implemented: WOW Wednesday's Youth Focus, Married Couples Ministry, Singles Ministry, Combined Choir, Young Adults Choir, Grief Ministry, Media Ministry, Seasoned Saints Ministry, New Converts Ministry, Greeters Ministry, Puppet Ministry, Step Team Ministry, Motions of Praise Dance Ministry, CHAT (Children Helping Around Town) Ministry, and Basketball Team. Several ministries and programs have been re-established: Christian Education, Brotherhood, Tuesday Night Bible Study, Wednesday Noon Bible Study, New Members Classes, Youth Sunday, Summer Feeding and Enrichment Program, and Monthly Soup Kitchen. Pastor Bromell started the "Holy Pause" from 8:30 - 9:00 on Sunday mornings, the "Macedonian Smile" and was instrumental in establishing a website and facebook page for Macedonia. He also revitalized the Macedonia Life-Skills Center. His counseling sessions are growing by leaps and bounds. Since Pastor Bromell assumed the leadership of Macedonia, numerous physical improvements have taken place to include: Renovation and re-decoration of foyers on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors, addition of new sound and video room, installation of higher quality sound system (CDs and DVDs of services are available for purchase), installation of video cameras and new speakers, balcony and vestibule areas re-designed, balcony completely remodeled with new carpet and pews, addition of see-thru safety glass and rails in balcony, re-location of pastor's study from second to first floor for easier accessibility to members, upgraded finance system software, installation of membership database, conference room upgraded, two buses (14-passenger and 24-passenger) purchased and general beautification of church building and grounds. By far, Pastor Bromell will be remembered best for his sound biblical teaching and powerful preaching. Under the first four years of his leadership, over 400 souls came to Christ as candidates for baptism, joined under their Christian experience, and/or rededicated themselves to Macedonia. Tuesday Night Prayer and Bible Study and Wednesday Noon Bible Study are well attended. WOW Wednesday's Youth Focus Night is bursting at the seams with over 80 children in attendance per week and the Summer Feeding and Enrichment Program enrolls over 125 students each summer. Pastor Bromell is a young man committed to serving the present age with an ageless Gospel. He and his lovely wife are members of Macedonia and they reside in Darlington.