Choosing a church's path

ASHLAND — Ten miles south of Columbia on U.S. 63, the cemetery behind New Salem Baptist Church houses the bodies of slaves, Civil War veterans and a who’s who of Ashland and Columbia’s earliest days. Dr. David Doyle, the church’s first pastor, is buried here. He carried a rifle to and from church from fear of Indian attacks. That was a little more than 175 years ago.

Through the window of the church’s back office, Doyle’s tombstone stands guard. But there is change in sight these days.