Penfield was named for Savannah silversmith Josiah Penfield, who in 1829 bequeathed $2500 to the Georgia Baptist Convention for the advancement of education. Mercer University was established here in 1833 as the Mercer Institute, named for the Reverend Jesse Mercer. The chapel was designed by David Demarest, who was also responsible for the Greene County Courthouse. After the Civil War, Mercer University relocated to Macon and the chapel was given to the congregation of Penfield Baptist Church. Their original home had been destroyed by a tornado. Today, Old Mercer Chapel is among the most revered churches among Georgia’s Baptists and is one of the best Greek Revival churches in the state.
Penfield Historic District, National Register of Historic Places