Montpelier is the oldest congregation in Baldwin County. I’m unsure as to the date of construction of the present church, but records of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist church indicate (in a document from 1972) that the structure was built before 1843. That appears to be a good possibility. Slaves attended the church with their owners in the antebellum era. The historical marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1996 gives more insight to the history of the community than it does the church itself: This church is named Montpelier after Fort Montpelier of 1794, 1/2 mi. below here down the Oconee. This fort and others were built during the Creek Indian troubles. Captain Jonas Fouche was ordered to guard the Georgia frontier from the mouth of the Tugaloo to Fort Fidius on the Oconee. 200 militia cavalry and infantry raised under Governor Telfair were placed under the command of Major Gaither, Federal commandant. A note on Fouche’s map reads: “As it is 40 mi .from Fort Twiggs to Mount Pelah where Maj. Gaither laid in garrison, it is recommended that a public station might be created by the Government (at Cedar Shoals)´
Tag Archives: North Georgia Churches
The first Methodist congregation associated with Devereux, Ebenezer, was located about ten miles away. It moved nearby in 1857 and was named Reynolds Chapel for its pastor. The present structure was built in 1910-1911 and dedicated by Bishop W. A. Candler in 1911. The name was changed at that time to Devereux Methodist Church. It remains a small but active congregation.
First Baptist Church of Forsyth was established in 1838 as Harmony Baptist Church. Their first home was constructed on this property in 1840. The congregation named was changed to First Baptist Church around 1840, then to First Baptist Church of Forsyth between 1913-1917. The old church building was retired in 1921 and the congregation moved into this structure in 1923. In the interim, services were held in the Bank Stephens Institute and baptisms performed in the swimming pool at Bessie Tift College.
Built just before the Civil War, the Presbyterian Church is the oldest church building in Jefferson. It originally featured a steeple which was lost to a storm in 1943. The Presbyterians shared the church with the Baptists until they built their first permanent home in 1887. A former private residence adjacent to the church now serves as the congregational office.
Jefferson Historic District, National Register of Historic Places