Patriarch of First Baptist Church in North Charleston, Paul Pridgen, dies at 85

  • Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:16 a.m.
Pridgen

Paul M. Pridgen Jr., pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church of North Charleston, died Sunday. He was 85.

Born Oct. 4, 1927, in Charleston, he graduated from Furman University and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Pridgen was the fourth generation of Baptist ministers in his family, first ordained in 1951.

He served in several churches in North and South Carolina, but returned to First Baptist in North Charleston, the church in which he was raised, and took over from his father in 1962. He remained with the church until his retirement in 1991.

Pridgen received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the Baptist College of Charleston, now Charleston Southern University, which was housed at First Baptist for its initial academic year.

In 1973, he conducted a week-long revival at Mount Olive Baptist Church in North Charleston, which is where his great-grandfather, Moses Pridgen, served as its first pastor, beginning in 1879.

Paul Pridgen also was considered a civic leader and North Charleston historian. He’d been a resident of the Park Circle area since before World War II and had witnessed rapid growth and change.

Throughout his lifetime, Pridgen was a strong advocate for the city and its underprivileged residents. He had ministered with his father to the majority of the neighborhoods in the North Area and made outreach a priority.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of the now-defunct Noisette Community Master Plan at the Charleston Naval Base because he thought it would help revitalize the area.

He is survived by his wife, Millie Hawkins Pridgen, sons Paul M. Pridgen III and Stephen M. Pridgen, four grandsons, two great-grandchildren, sisters Betty Holand and Mary Zedick and numerous other extended family.

A service will be held on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of North Charleston.

Arrangements are being handled by Stuhr’s Downtown Chapel of Charleston.

Comments { }

Postandcourier.com is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Postandcourier.com does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not postandcourier.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full Terms and Conditions.