A leading citizen of Anderson County in its earliest days was Reverend Moses Holland. He was born on November 17, 1758, in Culpepper County, Virginia, where he spent his early life. He served in the Revolutionary War and was present at Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown in 1781.
Around 1787, Holland took his young family and relocated to South Carolina, where they settled by the Saluda River in what became the upper part of Anderson County. A devout Christian, Holland soon became involved in the local Baptist ministry. In 1788, he founded Big Creek Baptist Church and was ordained as its first pastor. He served there until his death.
Big Creek is known as the “Mother Church” of many local congregations. This is due to Rev. Holland’s lifetime commitment to building other churches. He founded at least six other early Baptist churches in Anderson County, as well as some others outside the immediate area.
In 1803, Holland was one of the founders of the Saluda Baptist Association, an organization which still exists today. He was named its first Moderator. As a popular and renowned religious leader, Moses Holland was also seen as a civic leader in his community.
Holland was greatly assisted in his work by having married two devout Christian women. His first wife Mary, with whom he had six children, died about 1812. He next married Miss Grace King, sister of another local Baptist minister.
Reverend Holland died on September 8, 1829. A monument dedicated to his memory is located at Big Creek Baptist Church.