Bamberg County Courthouse Annex’s name to honor Odom; Bamberg County councilman served 42 years

Posted by 12/15/2020

Courtesy of The Times and Democrat, written by Dionne Gleaton

BAMBERG – Bamberg County Council is honoring the longest-serving councilperson in the county's history by renaming the courthouse annex building after him.

Council passed a resolution last week agreeing to rename the building the Bamberg County Courthouse Annex, Isaiah Odom Building. District 5 Councilman the Rev. Isaiah Odom has served on the council for 42 years, five of them as chairman. He’s one of the state's longest-serving council members. Odom, who did not file for re-election this year, shed tears of joy at the honor.

“You all put one on me. Thank you. I thank the Lord for allowing me to live long enough to do these things. I'll continue to work as long as I'm on this earth,” Odom said.

The lifelong Bamberg County resident is a mentor, military veteran, author, businessman and retired pastor, most recently having served at Second Baptist Church in Barnwell for 38 years.


He represented the county on the SouthernCarolina Alliance Board of Directors' executive committee and as a member of former Gov. Richard W. Riley's Rural Development Commission. He also served on the advisory board for Security Federal Bank and the South Carolina Bank and Trust of Denmark and has memberships with the Bamberg Branch of the NAACP, the Denmark/Bamberg Optimist Club, the Denmark Branch of the American Legion and the Lower Country Ministerial Coalition, serving four years as its president.


Odom said it was a pleasure working with the county and said County Administrator Joey Preston was one of the best administrators the county has had over his decades of service.

"We can see the progress that this county has made. We've had some real devastating times during the hospital situation. The county was broke. We were spending money that we should not have been spending," he said. Odom urged council members to work peacefully together to continue to help the county progress.


"Whatever you do, do your best, keep peace and move forward. That's what it's all about. We're better today, but there's a lot that can be done. Mr. Preston, I commend you for hanging in there," he said. Council members lauded Odom's years of service, including District 4 Councilman Joe Guess Jr., who also did not seek re-election to his seat after eight years of service. “I'll be going off council this year, and I'd just like to thank all of you who have been my colleagues on council. I'd like to particularly thank all of the staff of the county. I feel like I have had the honor of participating in what will in the future be looked back as a renaissance in Bamberg County,” Guess said. “I'd also like to add my congratulations to Rev. Odom. I've known him a long time, and I know that he's always had Bamberg County at the top of his mind and always wanted to advance the county.”


Council Chairwoman Sharon Hammond said she is going to miss Odom. “Forty-two years is a lot of time to give to one organization. That dedication is real, true dedication. Bamberg County has profited from that in a lot of ways,” she said. So I pray that you have a healthy life, that you enjoy the rest of your years and that you surround yourself with doing things that make you happy, you and your wife.”


Councilman Larry Haynes said, “Job well done. A man who really deserves that honor. To live long enough to do the things that he has done, it's a good thing. It'll go down in history.”


Councilman Evert Comer Jr. said both Odom and Guess were to be commended for their service. “The two of you have been key members of this council. You’ve got a lot of wisdom and you contribute a great deal to helping this county to be a success,” he said. Preston said Odom's book “Succeeding Against the Odds” would be donated to the library system “so folks will know who he is.” 


Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow "Good News with Gleaton" on Twitter at @DionneTandD