Saint John Baptist Church
"Blessed to be a Blessing." Genesis 1:27-28, 12:1-3; Deuteronomy 28:1-14
3404 West Beltline Boulevard
Columbia, South Carolina 29203
Church Office: 803-254-4170
Facsimile: 803-254-4036
Preparatory School: 803-256-8542

Member Highights

Merrit Chestnut Best Reid

Merritt Chestnut Best Reid was first born (February 16, 1929 in Goldsboro, North Carolina) to Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Fannie Chestnut. She is married to Mr. Willie K. Reid for 54 years. She graduated from Dillard High School (1948) in Goldsboro, NC and Fayetteville State Teachers College (1952) in Fayetteville, NC.

She migrated to Columbia, South Carolina in 1952. She was employed as a third grade teacher with Richland County School District One, A. C. Moore Elementary School, for thirty-one years (1952-1986) and two years with Overseas Dependent School in Kitizingen, Germany. She has completed graduate work at Virginia State, Southern Connecticut and the University of South Carolina. She studied her art under Dr. Edmond Yaghjian, Columbia Museum of Art; Dr. Stephen Nevitt, Columbia College Audit; and Dr. Phillip Mullin, University of South Carolina Studios I and II.

Mrs. Reid joined Saint John Baptist Church in 1952 under the leadership of The Reverend Doctor Roscoe C. Wilson, Pastor. She served on the Usher Board. Mrs. Reid formerly served on Saint John Baptist Church Board of Trustees. During her service on the board, she served as Secretary for twenty-one years. She served on the Sallie Boular Missionary Circle and the food committee.

She is a Life Member of National Education Association (NEA) and South Carolina Education Association (SCEA) Retired Association and a member of Shepherd Center. Mrs. Reid was recognized by Living Legacy Worthwhile Contribution National Council of Negro Woman, Inc. (1982) and A. C. Moore Elementary School as Outstanding Teacher of the Year (1983). In 1996 Mrs. Reid received an Administrative Degree from the Order of the Eastern Star and served as Associate Matror Cleopatra (1997-98) from the 240 Order of Eastern Star. The Order of Eastern Star awarded Mrs. Reid the Fifty Years Service Award. She has participated in the South Carolina State Fair Exhibit-Fine Arts on Craft. She has submitted approximately one hundred forty-four paintings to family, friends, and Saint John Preschool. Some of the paintings are located in her home. She spends most her time creating quilts. Currently, she has created twenty-six quilts total.

Since retirement she spends her time reading, painting, quilting, creating water color notes, and solving puzzles. Mrs. Reid lives daily by the words of Hebrews 11:1;3. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds are framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."

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