The Beginning of Cherokee Avenue:
In 1894, a Sunday School group met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Cash on Railroad Avenue. Rev. B.P. Robertson, the pastor of First Baptist Church, assisted in teaching.
In 1895, Rev. J.M. Walker came to the community to teach and do missions. Interest in establishing a new church grew, so members rented and remodeled a barn on Walnut Street. School was held downstairs and church upstairs.
On July 28, 1895, a council of representatives from First Baptist, Providence, and Limestone churches came together and formally organized the Second Baptist Church of Gaffney with nineteen members.
The Pastors of Cherokee Avenue:
- J.W. Walker served as the first pastor in 1895.
- G.P. Hambrick served two terms, the first from 1896- 1897 and the second from 1903-1908.
- W.D. Thomason, 1897-1898.
- J.M. Bridges, 1898-1900.
- W.S.B. Ford, 1901-1902.
- Boseman, 1902-1903.
- N.A. Hemrick, 1909-1912.
- C.W. Payseur, 1913-1915.
- J.R. Pentuff, 1915-1916.
- J.M. Hamrick, 1917-1922.
- Clarence Aubrey Kirby Sr., 1922-1954.
- Clarence E. Hampton served as assistant pastor from 1940-1954 and as pastor from 1954-1973.
- Stuart A. Kersey served as pastor from 1974-1993 and as interim pastor from 1993-1994.
- James R. Sampley, 1994-1996.
- Frank P. Northcutt, 1998-2004.
- Clyde P. Thomas served as Minister of Family and Education from 1979-2005 and began serving as pastor on March 20, 2005. He continues to serve today.
The Church Buildings of Cherokee Avenue:
In 1898, members purchased a lot on Cherokee Avenue and built a wooden church about three blocks south of where the present building stands. They renamed the church: Cherokee Avenue Baptist Church. During the years that followed, the church grew. In need of a larger church, in 1910, members purchased the lot where the building now stands. On the 5th Sunday in April 1911, members worshipped in the new sanctuary.
In 1928, the church constructed a small, wooden building on the property where the educational building now stands.
In 1936, members built a three-story Sunday School building and named it the Kirby Educational Building after Rev. Clarence Aubrey Kirby Sr. (1922-1954).
In1948, the church remodeled the sanctuary and built a second educational building.
In 1961, members added a 3-story educational building. Today members gather in this building for Sunday School, discipleship studies, and choir rehearsals. The building also houses the church offices, a media center, and a nursery.
In 1962, church members remodeled the Kirby Educational Building.
In 1972, the deacons recommended that an activities building be constructed on the lot behind the church. The Family Life Center was dedicated on Sunday, August 18, 1974.
From 1988-1989, the church renovated the sanctuary, the adult education building and the education wing, and the parlor. Renovations were made to the sound, lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems as well. The church also added a new foyer entrance, enlarged the choir loft, and raised the Baptistery. The church dedicated the current sanctuary on Sunday, April 23, 1989.
In 2016, the Kirby Education Building was demolished, and the church remodeled the sanctuary entrance and the landscaping on the east side of the church.