Tag Archives: North Georgia Churches

St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1897, Rockville

St. Paul Methodist Church was originally known as Enterprise. They worshiped a few miles away in a church built in 1871 by William and Kinchon Little and assumed the name of St. Paul in 1879. In 1897, they merged with another church in the area, New Hope, and built this structure adjacent to Rockville Academy. The land was donated by Professor F. G. Branch, principal of the academy, and the land was chosen because it was halfway between the old St. Paul Church and New Hope Church.

Rockville Academy and St. Paul Methodist Church Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Rockville GA

Centennial Christian Church, 1924, Hancock County

Centennial Christian Church is located just south of the Greene County line in Hancock County. The congregation has served the families of the area for over a century and the church and grounds are beautifully maintained.

 

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--

New Bethel Church at Leslie Mill, 1894, Veazey

A newer church at this site is now in use, but the congregation has maintained this historic structure. I’m still searching for a history of New Bethel and will update when I learn more. An historic schoolhouse, associated with the church, is located on the property.

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Veazey GA

Springfield Baptist Church, Circa 1907, Greensboro

An historic marker placed by the church and the Georgia Historical Society in 2010 states: Springfield Baptist Church was established on January 27, 1864 prior to the abolition of slavery, and is among the first African-American churches founded in Middle Georgia. Enslaved workers purchased land from Mrs. Nancy Bickers and began monthly meetings. Levi Thornton, a slave, served as the church’s first pastor. Prior to the Civil War most local congregations were racially integrated, though blacks and whites sat separately. However in 1867 African Americans were dismissed from local congregations. At their dismissal, the white congregations presented Springfield with $200 to help build the current building…

Henry Porter, Frank Massey, Umply Stocks, and Jack Terrell were instrumental in the organization of the church. The congregation first met in the old Georgia Railroad depot in Greensboro. To my understanding, construction of the present structure commenced in 1907 and the bricks were salvaged from the old Greensboro Methodist Church.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Greensboro GA

Bethesda Baptist Church, 1818, Greene County

Bethesda Baptist is one of the iconic rural churches of Georgia and one of the greatest extant examples of vernacular Federal architecture in the state. The congregation traces its origins to 1785, when it was organized as Whatley’s Mill. The first structure was of wooden frame construction. Notably, Bethesda is among the oldest Baptist congregations in the state and the present structure one of the oldest surviving church buildings. The most influential Baptist of early 19th-century Georgia, Jesse Mercer, performed the dedication on 20 December 1818. In what would seem progressive by today’s standards, they licensed an African-American called Brother Sam to minister to members of his race in 1834 in a separate monthly service but revoked the right in 1836 over claims of “disorder”. Enslaved people of the community were required to attend church with their owners and the remains of the gallery are still visible in the church.

Bethesda is located in a rural area of Greene County near the South Fork of Little River on land given by Samuel Whatley. The original name of the congregation, Whatley’s Mill, honored his parents, who were killed by Native Americans trying to protect their lands from the white men. Silas Mercer was the first pastor and his son Jesse Mercer became pastor in 1796, serving for thirty years. The name was changed from Whatley’s Mill to Bethesda just before the dedication of the present church building in 1818. It remains a thriving congregation to this day.

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--

Rockwell Universalist Church, 1881, Barrow County

Rockwell Universalist Church was established in 1839 as the First Universalist Church of Jackson County, in what was then known as the Mulberry Community in Jackson County (present-day Barrow). They never boasted a large membership and nearly disbanded during the Civil War but reorganization in 1867 firmly established the congregation, which survives to this day. When the present structure was built in 1881 the congregation renamed itself Mulberry Church. In the 1920s, a final name change was made, honoring the Rockwell School & Masonic Hall (located across the road and no longer extant) which had served as home to the congregation during the 19th century.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BARROW COUNTY GA--

Phillips Mill Baptist Church, 1907, Wilkes County

In 1785, 16 people met at Joel Phillips’s Mill on this site with the purpose of organizing a Baptist church. The original millstones remain on the property. Silas Mercer was the first pastor, and served for 11 years. His son Jesse, who went on to establish what would become Mercer University, became pastor upon his father’s death in 1796.

Due to its association with the Mercers, and because of its early establishment, Phillips Mill is one of the most historically significant Baptist churches in Georgia. The present sanctuary, located about four miles from the original church site, was completed in 1907.

 

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--