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Pastor General Scott Hay, Jr.

Senior Pastor
The Historic First African Baptist Church

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General Scott Hay, Jr., came into the world breaking down barriers. His parents, General and Orphia Coleman Hay, provided him and his younger brother, Gerald, with daily examples of Black excellence and living a life without limits. His father, General Hay, Sr., was part of an elite group of African-American men, who worked in the Radioactive Contaminants Research Department of Dupont, Savannah River Plant, in Augusta, GA. Pastor Hay grew up in the small town of Kline, SC, helping his father with farming. He is a 1969 graduate from Guinyard-Butler High School. He continued his studies at one of South Carolina's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Benedict College. He is a Class of 1973 graduate with a B.S. in psychology and a minor in religious studies.


Following his undergraduate studies, Pastor Hay worked as the store manager for Pic'N Pay Shoes in Richmond, Virginia, and Beaufort, South Carolina. After relocating to Beaufort, SC, he reconnected with one of his college classmates, Hilton Head native islander, Nell Barnwell. This meeting blossomed into a romance, with Pastor Hay and Nell getting married on December 21, 1977. Pastor Hay then relocated to Hilton Head Island and worked at Palmetto Electric Cooperative for 32 years, where he served as an electrical power control technician in the Engineering Department. In 1985, he was appointed as membership chairperson for two SC political action committees: Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE) and Electric Cooperative Help Organization (ECHO). From 1986 to 1990, Pastor Hay served as the president of the Palmetto Electric Employee Advisory Committee. In 1992, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Electric Cooperative Help Organization for the state of SC.


Pastor Hay moved to Hilton Head, SC in 1977 and has been an integral part of the Gullah community ever since. He became a member of Central Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in 1978 and served as a deacon from 1980 to 1997. He continued his pursuit of higher education as he studied at SC Baptist Seminary and fulfilled licensing requirements for Pastoral Leadership. Pastor Hay was licensed as a Baptist minister in September 1997 and preached his inaugural sermon entitled "What is Man That thou art mindful of Him?" He became associate minister of his home church, Central Oak Grove, until 2006, and then was called to the pastorate of Zion Fair Missionary Baptist Church in Varnville, SC from October 2006 to September 2014. Following his tenure at Zion Fair, Pastor Hay became a visiting pastor of Daufuskie Island's First Union African.


Pastor Hay's quest for higher education led him to listen to God's voice, as the Holy Spirt guides through interpretation and application, which led to Pastor Hay's lifelong goal of earning his Doctorate of Divinity degree, graduating with honors from the Partners to the Promise Christian College on June 19, 2022. Daily studying and delving into the scriptures are some of the many ways Pastor Hay dedicates himself as a man of the cloth. He enjoys traveling, reading and sports.


In April of 2022, Pastor Hay was blessed with an opportunity to visit the Holy Land where he had a chance to place his feet in the Jordan River. It was a life-changing experience. He was called upon to administer The Holy Communion to the remaining members of his group to share the communion sacraments of the Last Supper in the "Upper Room" in Jerusalem. It was both touching and unforgettable. He also shared the reading of The Beatitudes on the Mount of Beatitudes. Those were memorable experiences.

As Pastor Hay explains,

"I always knew that God had a calling on my life,

and I will continue to answer His call, wherever He leads."

Reverend Abraham Murchinson

First Pastor
The Historic First African Baptist Church

Abraham Murchinson was born in Bryan County Georgia around 1801. He is the oldest of 13 children born to John and Sukie Murchinson. The names of his siblings were: (1) Peter, born about 1838 in Bryan County Ga., (2) Helen, (3) Isaiah, (4) Moses, (5) Samuel, (6) Charlotte, (7) Sarah, (8) David, (9) Jacob, (10) Joe, (11) Phillip and Paul. Note: Phillip and Paul died before 1875. The Rev. Abraham (or Abram) Murchinson (or Merchison), a former slave from Savannah, Ga., was freed by the Union Army and ordained into the ministry by Union chaplains. He resided on Hilton Head Island during the war, recruiting freedmen for the Union Army and serving as religious and secular leader among the region’s blacks. He reportedly baptized over 1,000 freedmen during the war. Murchison also founds and administrates the nearby freedmen’s village of Mitchelville.  In the Beaufort County Census for 1869, Rev. Murchinson was shown as Living on Hilton Head Island. He died in Savannah, Georgia on May 9, 1887 at the age of 86, according to the Savannah, Georgia Department of Vital Records for 1803-1966.

Former Pastors

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