In the fall of 1890 the minister of First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg created a Sunday School mission for the workers at the new Spartan Mill. The Sunday School met in people’s homes and at times at the mill store. That same year Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Ravenal donated a lot at the corner of Wofford and Wolfe streets. Soon, a small church was erected. In 1891, Spartan Mills Presbyterian Church was organized with 14 members and two ruling elders. In 1900 the name of the church was changed to Second Presbyterian. Then in 1907, following a major fire in the mill village, the church moved to its present location at the corner of Church and College streets.
The current sanctuary was built in 1926. In 1941 an Education Building was added, the sanctuary reworked and an organ installed. Then again in 1955, an additional education wing was built, joining the buildings together and creating a fellowship hall. Once again in 1980, the church added to its facilities as a gymnasium was erected, now called the Gus Prill Christian Ministries Building.
From its inception, Second Presbyterian has reached out to those in need with many mission programs. Starting with the needs of the Mill Community itself, it then expanded during the Great Depression. Whether it was dresses made from donated cloth or a soup kitchen for hungry school children during the ‘30s, Second Pres reached out. During the War years it housed a USO. It provided a place for worship and fellowship for students at Wofford and Converse. In the early ‘80s we started a Soup Kitchen and an emergency shelter for homeless women and children. Today the Soup Kitchen feeds 400 people a day and the shelter, called The Haven, cares for entire families by helping them bridge the gap back to their own home.
Along the way Second Presbyterian helped found the St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic and is actively involved in Divinity Care, an outreach to homeless men. In recent years, the church has taken youth mission trips to Jamaica, New Orleans, Kentucky, and Charlotte.
Second Presbyterian’s history, from its humble beginnings as a mill church to the present day congregation that stretches out to every section of the city and county, continues to reach out in worship, service and missions. Like all long-standing churches, the congregation today stands on the shoulders of the men and women of solid faith in God and great courage. As it says on our bulletin each week Second Presbyterian is: A Place to Worship, a Place to Belong, a Place to Serve: as we believe, so we live.