New Hope Primitive Baptist Church, Wilcox County

Old New Hope Primitive Baptist Church Birthplace of the Missionary Baptists Wilcox County Birth of the Primitive Baptist Movement Near Abbeville Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Though this building (located behind a more modern church home) has long been in disuse, it represents an important development in Baptist history. It is not the first New Hope Church building, whose congregation is described in the Georgia historic marker text seen below, but it’s part of the story.

New Hope Primitive Baptist Church was constituted in July 1830. The presbytery officiating were: Wilson Conner, David Wood and Jordan Baker. Minutes of the church for the first 12 years were lost, and there is no record of charter members, but the church roll of March 5, 1842, lists 53, many of them pioneers of this section. It was at New Hope Church that the division in the Primitive Baptist denomination occurred, when some withdrew and formed a Missionary Baptist Church.* The Rev. Richard M. Tucker was the first recorded pastor, in 1842. George R. Reid was clerk in 1842.

I’ve recently learned that this structure is scheduled to be demolished. I am unsure to the date of its construction, but judging the architecture, I’d guess it’s circa 1880-1910. Having photographed it for over five years, I must say that there is no saving it, and there’s no other solution, but I wanted to bring attention to this historic congregation.

*Liberty Baptist Church in Brooks County is among the earliest Missionary churches still in existence, dating to 1841, and though contemporary to the rift outlined here, was part of a larger fringe movement of Mission work and Sunday schools seen as too “newfangled” by most traditional Baptists of the day.


Filed under --WILCOX COUNTY GA--, Abbeville GA

7 responses to “New Hope Primitive Baptist Church, Wilcox County

  1. raymacjr

    I attened this church as a very young man because my grandpa was an elder.that was almost 50 yrs ago. so close to my demise

  2. Peggy Anderson

    Judging from the 2009 photograph, there is a possibility that it could have been saved at that time. Shame that the members of the newer church did not see any historical value in this wonderful old building. Thank you for preserving and photographing what was.

  3. Lillian Lancaster

    Dear Brian,

    Thank you for your wonderful posts. I have very recently subscribed. Our family travels from Orlando to the Atlanta area several times a year. We are interested in knowing about a beautiful white frame church with steeple in Vienna, Ga near exit 107 at I-75. Until recently, it was hidden behind trees. Now there is a clearing, and it is quite visible from Highway 75. It reminds me of a beloved country church of my childhood in Oklahoma.

    Thank you, Lillian

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks for your interest, Lillian. I’m not familiar with that particular church but I’m in that area somewhat often and will certainly investigate it when I’m over that way.

    • carol stewart

      The Church you are writing about is Shiloh United Methodist Church near Vienna, Ga on Shiloh Road. It is a beautiful, quaint building and regular Sunday Services are still held here. It is well maintained and so is the adjoining cemetery. ]] I live about one quarter mile south of the churc

  4. Kay McCullough

    I hope the wood is saved and reused by someone who understands historical preservation.
    Thanks again for sharing these beautiful images every day.

  5. Thank you for the photographs of buildings such as this that will soon be lost. I wish there were photographers in my region of Georgia documenting all the treasures being lost at an alarming rate. A beautiful old home was razed in literally one day and I could kick myself everyday that I drive by the property now for sale as commercial property that I didn’t take a picture of the house before it disappeared. Thank you Brian!

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