Tag Archives: Churches of Ben Hill County GA
West Point Baptist Church is an historic African-American congregation in the Westwood community of Fitzgerald. Westwood was populated by skilled African-American machinists, most of whom worked in the nearby Atlantic Coast Line Railroad shops. It’s interesting that the establishment of the church predates the settlement of Fitzgerald and the location of the railroad by nearly 20 years. The present structure was built in 1972.
The church, which is the center of the Westwood community today, recently lost its well-loved and long serving pastor, Reverend Willie B. Pride (1938-2020).
Young’s Chapel has been one of my favorite places since I first discovered it over ten years ago. I drive out from Fitzgerald nearly every time I’m home just to check on it. Though I have no connections to the church, I’ve always felt at home when I visit. It’s the kind of place that has that effect on many. On one of those recent trips, I was heartbroken when I saw the damage done by a tornado which passed through in January. As if this special little church needed anything else working against it.
Luckily, Matt Brown recently rescued the pews before vandals could steal or destroy them. They were gone before the tornado came through.
Talk of restoration has been ongoing, but in light of the recent damage it will be an even more difficult task, perhaps impossible.