Working until JESUS comes again!
Gapway Baptist Church
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
It's All About JESUS

Verse of the day

“For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)  listen to chapter  (Read by Max McLean. Provided by The Listener's Audio Bible.)

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About Us

"It's All About JESUS"


We are a body of believers committed to worshipping and serving Jesus Christ.

We join with likeminded Christians in spreading the gospel around the world.

Our slogan is more than just a catchy phrase. We hope that it gives you insight into just who we are.

Christ reached out to people of all ages and backgrounds and at Gapway Baptist Church we desire to do the same. That's why you'll discover here ministries geared to various life stages and needs. That's why we have a place for everyone to study the Scriptures, fellowship together, and minister to others through numerous service opportunities.

We want you to be a part of the blessings of God in the life of our church. We'll bring you updates often on just what's happening at Gapway Baptist Church and share the stories of how Christ is making a difference in people's lives.

Church Staff

Stephen D. Bailey - Pastor                Sybil Shelley - Music Director
Tammy Hammond - Secretary            Matt Bessetti - Treasurer

Neil Moore - Chairman of the Deacons

Chrissi Bessetti -  Administrative Assistant

Tom McConkey  -  Worship Leader          Wanda McConkey  -  Accompanist

History of Gapway Baptist Church

1775 - 2013

The Gapway Baptist Church is located about three miles south of the City of Mullins on Highway Number 41. The present site was donated by Robert Hodges, whose son appears in the records as licentiate of Gapway Church in 1812.

Organized in 1775, the Gapway Baptist Church was admitted to the Charleston Association in 1794.  At this time it had 30 members and Reverend David Owens was the first recorded pastor.  The reason for the long delay after organization before applying for membership in an Association is unknown.  The church was first called Gapway Little Pee Dee River Church or Gapway Antipaedo Baptist Church.

In 1827 the Gapway Church was host to the Charleston Association, apparently the only meeting of the association held on the eastern side of the Great Pee Dee River.  People came by horseback, covered wagon, and up the river on barges.

In 1831 Gapway Church requested a letter of dismissal from the Charleston Association to join 18 other churches to form the Welch Neck Association.  Later Gapway was given the privilege of forming the Marion Baptist Association of Marion County.

Three buildings have been used by Gapway Baptist Church, all of which were and are of the same architectural design.  The first was a log church.

A difference of opinion concerning the erection of a new building to replace the inadequate log structure led to the withdrawal of several members who organized the Mullins Baptist Church in 1880.

The second building, a wooden frame building, was destroyed by fire in 1881.  A hunter shot a rabbit with a muzzle loading gun and set fire to the woods nearby and the flames spread to the church burning everything except the sills.  Shingles from the roof were carried by the wind for several miles down the road.       

The third and present building, erected in 1882, was originally a wooden structure.  In 1948 the wooden structure was completely remodeled with brick exterior, including the addition of a basement containing ten classrooms.  The remodeled church was dedicated on Mother’s Day.

The Woman’s Missionary Society was organized in 1906, under the leadership of Miss Lizzie Collins.

In 1923 a frame structure pastorium was erected.

Beginning early in 1965, still another remodeling project got under way, with modernization of the church edifice including complete renovation of the church sanctuary, interior and exterior changes being made and the erection of a new educational building with pastor’s study, library, social hall, complete kitchen, and six more classrooms.

In  October of 1971 a new pastorium was begun, to replace the old parsonage that had served the pastor and his family since 1923.  The new brick veneer home, with over 2,000 square feet, has a colonial exterior that resembles the other church buildings.

In the early 1980’s, the Fellowship Hall and 2 additional classrooms were added to the educational building.

On October 22, 1986, the Reverend Thomas McManus died in service to our Lord and Savior.  Reverend McManus is the only pastor on record to have passed away during service to Gapway Baptist Church.

In May 1989 the H. Wade Collins Store was purchased and renamed the Christian Life Center (CLC).  The building was remodeled in the style of the church and parsonage.

During 1993 the underground storage tanks were removed under the supervision of the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.

In 1994 and 1995 the renovations of the CLC continued and included the addition of an a-roof, vinyl siding, and installation of a new sound system.  In 1997, the Harvest Day goal was to pay off the CLC note and the note was burned on November 23rd.  With donations from church members and many others, the renovations of the CLC has been completed.

The CLC provides a meeting area for church related events, family reunions, and many other Christian activities.

In the late 1990’s, a new sound system was installed in the church and a new piano and organ were purchased in November 1999.  Also during the 1999-2000 church year, a 3 ton heat pump was added and the CLC building was repainted.

In 2001, we began major renovations for the Church Sanctuary and started a Church Building Fund to assist us with this project.  Phase 1 included removing the existing layers of shingles and replacing with 30 lb. felt, 30 year life architectural shingles.  Phase 1 was completed June 5, 2001.  Phase 2 included replacing all the windows in the old building with double pane vinyl windows.  All other windows were boxed in and a vinyl entrance was added to the door facing Highway 41.  A covered entrance and a new door were added to the basement entrance facing the cemetary.  The columns were replaced at the front of the Parsonage.  Phase 2 was completed in August 2001.

In 2002, our major renovations continued thanks to the many gifts and generous donations from Harvest Day 2001 and the ongoing Church Building Fund.  Phase 3 began on February 18, 2002 and included repairing the ceiling, painting the walls, replacing the carpet, and recovering the pew cushions and pulpit chairs in the Sanctuary.  The vestibule was also repaired during that phase and the choir robes were replaced.  The Christian Life Center was set up for all Church Services during the Phase 3 renovations.  Phase 3 was completed in March 2002.  The powered mixer was also replaced at the CLC.

During the 2002-2003 church year, the carpet was replaced in the educational building, and the parsonage improvements included new garage doors, new columns at the back of the parsonage, new storm doors and painting of the exterior garage.  New chair cushions were provided for the choir, Ruth class, and Gleaners class.  The sound system was relocated to the back of the sanctuary and a new power conditioner was purchased.  The exterior lights at the sanctuary entrance were replaced and a new ice machine was purchased for the CLC.

During the 2003-2004 church year, we added a 3 ton heat pump in the sanctuary, performed a major upgrade to the sound system in the sanctuary, added new microphones and a sound system cabinet to the CLC, completely renovated the nursery including all new furniture, replaced the chimes, planted 10 lowquat trees around the CLC, and established a playground area with fence, playground equipment and picnic tables at the CLC.

More improvements have been made to the CLC with a new heating/cooling unit.  The parsonage has been completely renovated with carpet, kitchen appliances, interior paint, and exterior modifications.  In 2010, Gapway participated with Samaritan's Purse OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD by sending 115 shoeboxes to children around the world.  AngelTree ministry gifts were shared locally in Marion County with children.   CELEBRATE RECOVERY ministry will begin this year helping people to overcome hangups, hurts, and habits.  2013 promises to be a great year for our Lord.  Join us!