Every third Saturday of the month, except for the months of November and December, the fish fry draws hungry people from around the area to enjoy fish, ribs, chicken and a wide assortment of vegetables, as well as desserts, lemonade and iced tea. Mable Clarke and her helpers fix up the meals each month and serve it up with a smile. The fish fries begin at noon and runs until 7pm.
The cost is $14 and to-go plates are available. Additional donations are also gratefully accepted.
While you dine in the church's Fellowship Building, "you'll enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains". Proceeds from the fish fry are used to support the church and to preserve the community's history, including maintenance of the historic schoolhouse and slave cemetery.
History of Soapstone Baptist Church
Roughly 130 years ago, 900 freed slaves settled the area called Little Liberia in Pickens County, named after the original African nation. Their former masters settled along prime farmland near the main towns and roads and gave the former slaves the more “undesirable” land in the outlying areas. But the Liberians went to work making the land plentiful and building a rich community.
Mabel Clarke is the last living descendant of the original Liberia families. Her great-grandfather Joseph McJunkin founded Soapstone Baptist Church, and her parents, who both lived for more than 100 years, are buried in the churchyard. A one-room schoolhouse, thought to be the oldest African American school in South Carolina, stands beside the church.