When Daniel Marshall established the oldest continuing* Baptist congregation in Georgia in 1772, it was a violation of the established laws of St. Paul’s Parish, contrary to the tenets of the Church of England, and he was soon arrested. Upon his release he continued the mission of the church and built the first meeting house at the site of present-day Appling. A new church known as Marshall’s Meeting House was built in 1789 near the banks of Kiokee Creek. By 1806 Marshall’s Meeting House was in bad disrepair and the congregation raised nearly $4000 for the construction of the present church, known as Kiokee Baptist Church, which was completed in 1808. A Mr. Danielly was the brick mason and brothers John and Hezekiah Bond did the carpentry. The congregation only used this church until 1827, when they again built a new church in Appling proper, likely to accommodate a growing membership. It served until it was destroyed by a tornado in 1875 with the congregation meeting in the courthouse until another church was built. A modern facility in Appling serves the church today, while the historic church is used for special events.
Daniel Marshall was a native of Connecticut and established Baptist churches in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina and served as a missionary to the Native Americans. The Marshall family preached the gospel at Kiokee for sixty years. After Daniel’s service (1772-84), his son Abraham (1784-1819) succeeded him, followed by his grandson Jabez (1819-1832).
*-The first Baptist church established in Georgia was the Tuckaseeking Baptist Church in Effingham County. They were a Seventh Day Baptist congregation and were active from 1759 until about 1763, when persecution forced them out of Georgia. Never a common sect in Georgia, the Seventh Day Baptists claim just one congregation and one mission in the state today.
National Register of Historic Places