First Baptist Church-Preston Seanor House, 1898, Fitzgerald


Thanks to Robert Deen for the identification; this was the longtime home of his grandparents, Preston and Orleans Seanor. This was also the third home of the Fitzgerald First Baptist Church. It was first located somewhere on Main Street, I believe. The congregation first met in a furniture store, from December 1895 until erecting a small slab building which they used from 1896-1898. This is thought to be the first frame church, used by the congregation from 1898 until 1912. A bell tower was originally part of the structure, but was likely demolished before it was moved. The bell tower was built to hold the bell given the Baptists by Governor William J. Northen for being the first congregation in Fitzgerald to build a permanent church. (The bell is located on the front lawn at the present Fitzgerald First Baptist Church.) The side dormers were obviously added to give the structure a more acceptable residential appearance; take them and the covered front porch away and you can see the faint outline of a typical vernacular church.

Thanks to Bob & Jan Dean, via Skeeter Humphreys, for sharing this circa 1940s image.


Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

10 responses to “First Baptist Church-Preston Seanor House, 1898, Fitzgerald

  1. Terrific photograph and research, thank you.

  2. Brian, Lovely weathered old building. You are providing a lasting legacy of your area that will not be forgotten.

  3. Robert Deen

    Brian This was my grandmothers house. Preston and Orleans Seanor lived there and my grandmother Mrs. JD Humphreys had and apartment on the other side. I think originally it was a church.

    • Thanks, Robert. I’ll change the title to reflect the information. It’s such a shame to see this old house in such condition…

      • We might even be related, Robert! I’m a distant cousin of John Seanor, through some of our Dodge County connections as I recall…

      • J. Skeeter Humphreys

        Well I might as well get in on this. Robert, Johnny Lauren, and I are all First Cousins. Grandma Humphreys was a Harrell From Dodge County. I remember your Grandmother Thelma lived on N. Grant street and We lived at 313 E. Altamaha. Your Mother worked at Ralph Adam’s Drug store. I guess that is enough history for now

      • Momma (Deenna) will be glad to hear about your memories! Thelma and Sadie lived at 409 North Grant. The house is still there but in very bad disrepair…

      • Now I know who you are, Skeeter…Momma told me you were Dotsy’s brother…I sure thought a lot of her!

      • Robert Deen

        We may be distantly related. Johnny Seanor is my first cousin and he still lives in Fitzgerald. I plan to visit him around the July 4th weekend when I come down to attend the Willacoochee reunion. Johnny’s father was Preston and his mother was Orleans. Orleans and my mother Ruth were sisters. Preston was in the insurance business. My grandmother, Mrs Humphreys lived in the apartment on the other side of this house. That was a fine home back in the 40’s and 50’s. It had beautiful St. Augustine grass that was very thick and a small back yard that we cousins played baseball in.

    • Laurien Seanor Davis

      I lived in this house for many years as a child with my parents, Preston and Orleans Seanor, my brother Johnny, and my grandmother, Mrs J.D. Humphreys. It holds many happy memories for me. There was a nice barn in back. Mama bought me a beautiful red mare that we kept there and in the back yard. She was a jumper and often jumped the fence between us and the neighbors. Just realized we are distant cousins —- Johnny Seanor is my brother. I live in Tifton now with my husband of 57 years, Dr. Morris Davis. I would dearly love to have a picture of the house if one is available.
      Thank you so much for posting the picture.
      Laurien Seanor Davis

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