Over One hundred years of teaching god's word
The year 2017 marks the one hundred nineteenth anniversary of the first officially constituted A.R.P. congregation in Columbia. Beginning with eighteen charter members, our church was the outgrowth of a mission established on July 22, 1896, by the Reverend J.G. Dale. By 1900 the congregation had purchased a lot in the 1400 block of Laurel Street and rejoiced over the groundbreaking of its first house of worship on May 14, 1902. The following year the church took the name "Centennial" to commemorate the founding of the Associate Reformed Synod of the Carolinas at Ebenezer (Brick Church), Fairfield County on May 9, 1803. Centennial celebrated the dedication of its first church building on July 4, 1909; which included an address by S. C. Governor Martin S. Ansel. The present church building was constructed 1952-1954 and dedicated on May 31, 1964. In 1998 the “centennial” of Centennial A.R.P. Church was held.
Over the years Centennial has actively pursued the service of Christ both locally and through denominational causes. The women of the congregation organized in the summer 1897, and their continuing dedication is the source of much of the good work done by this church. The Sabbath School dates from 1899, and the church has always emphasized the teaching of the Scriptures and their application to everyday life. For many years the music program has been an integral part of worship at Centennial with active choirs for children, youth and adults. Our forty three rank Schantz organ, installed in 1977, enjoys the reputation as one of the finest instruments of its kind in the state. In addition to its generous support of both home and foreign missions, Centennial is the mother church of the Sherwood Forest, Edwards Memorial, and Dutch Fork churches in the Columbia area. Because of the generosity of its members Centennial has been known as the "Tithing Church" from its earliest days.
We currently worship in the second of two sanctuaries that have served as worship centers for the congregation of Centennial Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. The first building, a red brick structure, was constructed by Mr. A.C. Sutherland of the congregation. The first service in the original sanctuary was held on August 17, 1902, and Dr. J.P. Knox preached on Psalm 96:6. The formal opening of our present sanctuary was held on January 30, 1954. Dr. Charles Edwards preached on “The Meaning of the Church" based on the 16th Psalm. The style of architecture of the present building is Greek Revival. The stone is Salisbury granite. Pews, windows, and other furnishings are in memory of many who labored before us to prepare both a material and spiritual house suitable for holy worship. This logo created for the cover of the bulletin at the celebration of our own “Centennial” in 1997 shows the old and new working in concert to bring God's people together in the worship of the Living Lord God Most High.