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Published on June 15th, 2020 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Historic Barhamville Estates, home to African American Trail Blazers

Pictured Bishop Redfern II and Rev. Luella Redfern.

By Bishop Redfern II

Barhamville Estates, a subdivision developed by African-American developer, James D. Langley, was built on the property where the South Carolina Female Collegiate Institute once stood. The subdivision was bounded by Barhamville Road, Saint Louis St., Louisa St. and a flood basin in the rear. The subdivision is the site of homes of several prominent African American clergies, attorneys, business owners, and political leaders.

Mr. and Mrs. I.S. Leevy Johnson were the anchor residents for Barhamville Estates. I.S. Leevy Johnson was one of the first three African Americans elected in 1972 to SC general Assembly. These three were the first blacks elected since reconstruction. Johnson built a contemporary modular home, the first of its kind in the area.

Mrs. Doris Johnson was an educator in Richland County schools and later served as an administrator at Benedict College. Their sons, Chris and George Johnson have established themselves as community leaders. George, as an attorney and Chris as the pastor of Brookland Baptist Church and Director of Leevy’s Funeral Home.

Wilbert and Minnie Howard, owners of Howard’s Garage and parents of Leon and Puff Howard, purchased several lots in the subdivision and physically moved their home from Tremain and Two Notch Road to Barhamville Road.

Leon and Puff Howard continued their family auto repair and towing business in the Barhamville area. Both Leon and Puff purchased homes in Barhamville Estates. Leon was elected to the Richland County School Board and the SC House of Representatives and Puff is married to the honorable Judge Michelle Branch-Howard Magistrate for Richland County Central Court.

Bishop Frederick Calhoun James served as an A.M.E. Bishop in South Carolina, Arkansas, South Africa. He restored Allen University’s accreditation, built James Square, and low-income housing throughout the United States.

Attorney Jerry and Jenny Screen were one of the first residents of the Barhamville Estates subdivision. Attorney Jerry Screen served as Chairman of the Board of Voorhees College while Wife, Jenny, served as the chief administrative officer for several Presidents of Benedict College.

Warden Sam Goodwin served as one of the first Black wardens in the SC Department of Corrections.

Cedric Davis is the 2nd generation, business owner of Davis Paint and Body Shop.

A.P. and Calvenetta Williams were the 2nd generation owners of A.P. William’s Funeral Home. Calvinetta Williams was an educator for over 40 years in Richland County School District.

Bishop Redfern II and Rev. Luella Redfern reside in the Redfern Manor located in Barhamville Estates. Bishop Redfern II was a civil rights activist, leading demonstrations, sit-ins, and rent strikes. When Black students were suspended, he held the School Board hostage for 24 hours. Redfern protested a lack of Blacks holding positions in banks by taking over a branch and holding employees hostage.

Rev. Luella Redfern was a corporate compliance officer for several banks and financial institutions. She is a licensed and ordained Elder in the Ecumenical Church. She is the founding pastor of the Esther Ecumenical Church and the international director of the CityLight Esther Women of Influence.

Bishop Redfern II was a newspaper publisher. He is the founder of Juju Publishing Co., Columbia Black News, the Charleston Black Times, the Orangeburg Black Voice, the Black Post, Black Views, the south Carolinian, Carolina Tribune, and Catalyst Magazine. He was also the owner of FSGM Inc., a foodservice and ground maintenance company serving Military bases with over 600 employees.

Bishop Redfern II is the Presiding Bishop and General Overseer of the Ecumenical Church Worldwide which has local churches in the 14 southern states of the U.S.and churches in Europe, China, East Africa, Central Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, and the Caribbean. He is also chairman of the Board of the Ecumenical University which has campuses in 20 countries.

Col Herbert and Carolyn Mallette were one of the first families to build in Barhamville Estates. Mallette’s home was to set a pattern of the size and style of homes to be built in the community. Colonel Mallette was a career army officer and Carolyn was an educator in Richland County schools with over 40 years of service.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennie Blocker (Willow) purchased their home on St. Louis St. Blocker, a retired professional athlete was the first African American Director of the Richland County Department of Social Services.

Col. Edward Anderson was one of the first African American JAG officers at Fort Jackson.

J. Arthur Holmes was the pastor for over 40 years of the historic Bethel AME church on the corner of Sumter and Taylor streets.

Kevin Alexander Gray is an author, columnist, national political organizer. Gray is known for his work in several national presidential campaigns, especially the historic presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson.

Dr. Eugene and Patricia Mincer live at the end of St Louis St. Dr. Mincer is a Dentist with a forty-year practice.

Bob Brown, Building Contractor

Presbyterian preacher

Teresa and Pop Harrison.

Wayne and Gloria Ferguson.

Sarah Redfearn Fuller was a math teacher in Lee County public schools before coming to Columbia to hold key positions at IBM and NCR.


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