Tag Archives: North Georgia Churches

Crescent Hill Baptist Church, 1871, Sautee-Nacoochee

This church was built by Captain James Nichols as Nacoochee Presbyterian, soon after he arrived in the valley and built West End. Freedmen were welcomed as early members. It served the Presbyterians until moving to Nacoochee Institute in Sautee in 1903. It is one of the most visually appealing churches in the area and remains an active congregation.

Nacoochee Valley Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Filed under --WHITE COUNTY GA--, Helen GA, Sautee-Nacoochee GA

Nacoochee Presbyterian Church, 1927, White County

Captain James H. Nichols came from Milledgeville to the Nacoochee Valley in 1870 and soon thereafter established Nacoochee Presbyterian Church (present-day Crescent Hill Baptist Church). Freedmen were welcomed by the earliest members. In 1903 the congregation began holding services in the Nacoochee Institute, where they remained until it was lost to fire in 1926. After meeting in an open-sided shed and a dairy barn, they completed the present church building in 1927. The belfry was added in 1989.

Sautee Valley Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WHITE COUNTY GA--, Sautee-Nacoochee GA

First Presbyterian Church, 1848, Clarkesville

Reverend William Quillian organized the First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville in 1832, with seven charter members. They met in the Methodist church in their early years. The present structure was built in 1848 by Jarvis Van Buren, first cousin of President Martin Van Buren. The dedication sermon was delivered by the Reverend Nathan Hoyt, grandfather of First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson. Members of the congregation included two Attorneys General, John McPherson Berrien and Amos T. Akerman. In 1907, when part of the church lot was sold to W. R. Asbury, the building was turned around from its location facing Jefferson Street to its present location.

Washington-Jefferson Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


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Filed under --HABERSHAM COUNTY GA--, Clarkesville GA

Methodist-Congregational Federated Church, 1908, Demorest


This was first home to Union Congregational Church, founded in 1892 by an Ohio-born minister in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union hall. The early members were from New England and the Midwest and part of the prohibition settlement that became Demorest. As the Congregationalists never had a large membership, they merged with Demorest Methodist Church in 1947 and remain active today.

Demorest Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


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Filed under --HABERSHAM COUNTY GA--, Demorest GA

Demorest Women’s Club, 1902 & 1954

Built as the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1902, this structure was significantly altered upon its acquisition by the Demorest Women’s Club in 1954. [The National Register designation is for the Women’s Club, not the church]. Besides the removal of the steeple and chimneys, the interior and foundation were also modified to fit the needs of the club. The Demorest Women’s Club was founded in 1934 and for many years held meetings in member’s homes. Evie Gillespie initiated the effort to acquire the church building after the Men’s Civic Club turned it down, citing it was too dilapidated.

An interesting footnote: Mayling Soone Chiang, who became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, was hosted by a member of the Methodist Church while she was in eighth grade in 1909-1910. Madame Chiang Kai-shek attended services and Sunday School here.

National Register of Historic Places



Filed under --HABERSHAM COUNTY GA--, Demorest GA

Mount Airy Presbyterian Church, 1907, Habersham County

Mount Airy Presbyterian Church was organized with ten members in 1906 and the chapel was completed in 1907. It never had a large membership, as most congregants were transient summer residents in the resort community and the grand  Monterey Hotel. In 1979 Mount Airy merged with Cornelia Presbyterian but  the historic chapel is still maintained and used for special events.


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Filed under --HABERSHAM COUNTY GA--, Mount Airy GA

Union Ground Christian Church, Franklin County

Union Ground was organized in 1902 by Erastus Lamar Shellnut. The following background comes from Scott Harp’s excellent overview of the “Pioneer Preacher”, as Shellnut was sometimes known.

In 1902 the “Pioneer Preacher” again returned to his favorite work. He accepted the appointment from the Woman’s Society of Georgia Mission as an evangelist. Because of failing health he resigned that work after six and on half months. He organized two churches, Unity in Jackson County and Union Ground in Franklin County, while working under the auspices of the Woman’s Society of Georgia Missions.

During Mr. Shelnutt’s work in Franklin County he encountered opposition on the part of the Baptists. He was locked out of the community school building, was falsely accused, arrested and stood trial, although he was not convicted of any charge. Rev. Shelnutt, possessing a kind spirit, tried to come to some understanding with the Baptists, went to their worship services, but no reconciliation was made. He gives an interesting account of his Franklin County experiences in a pamphlet entitled, Encountering Opposition. He vividly describes the Baptist worship service he attended during his visit in the community: “The preacher, of the blonde type, read from the third chapter of Exodus of the ‘burning bush’, and took as his text II Pet. ii. 1-3. The sermon was harsh and sectarian in its conception and argument, and mad and abusive in its deliver. The preacher’s denunciations of the ‘Campbellites,’ as he called them ‘though’ he said, ‘they want to be ‘Christian’ and his expositions of the ‘damnable doctrine’, as he called it, directed the minds and eyes of quite a number in the audience toward me. He told them that the devil was loose in the community, and advised the people more than once not to hear me (the devil referred to) preach my ‘doctrine born of hell,’ that I would ‘decoy them and their children and lead them to hell for ever and ever.’ He further advised his people not to let me have food and shelter in their homes. If they did, they would be partakers with me in propagating the false doctrine. I quietly sat before him and pitied him for his ignorance and lack of the spirit of Christ and remembered that vengeance belongs to God (Rom. xii, 19) and that he will one day settle with him for his wicked words.”

 In spite of the unpleasant conditions under which Mr. Shelnutt labored, he was successful in organizing the church with twenty-seven charter members. The building was begun and the name chosen for the church-Union Ground Christian Church, September 16, 1902.

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Filed under --FRANKLIN COUNTY GA--, Carnesville GA