Tag Archives: Churches of Ben Hill County GA

Zion Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Circa 1910, Fitzgerald

This is thought to be the oldest surviving wood frame church building in the city of Fitzgerald. After many years of neglect, it is very endangered.

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West Side Church of God, Westwood

This is one of two abandoned churches in Westwood.

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West Point Missionary Baptist Church, Westwood

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).

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Vernacular African-American Church, Fitzgerald

I will update with an identification as soon as I can track down some history of this structure, which is among the oldest wooden churches in Fitzgerald.

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Bethel A. M. E. Church, Fitzgerald

Bethel is one of the oldest African-American congregations in Fitzgerald.

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St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1908, Fitzgerald

St. Matthew’s was built using granitoid blocks from the Fitzgerald Granitoid Works.

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Abandoned Church, Ben Hill County

The architecture leads me to believe this was a church, though it could have been a schoolhouse.

 

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Tornado Damage at Young’s Chapel, Ben Hill County

historic-youngs-chapel-methodist-church-tornado-damage-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2017

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.

historic-youngs-chapel-methodist-church-interior-tornado-damage-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2017

Luckily, Matt Brown recently rescued the pews before vandals could steal or destroy them. They were gone before the tornado came through.

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Talk of restoration has been ongoing, but in light of the recent damage it will be an even more difficult task, perhaps impossible.

 

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Episcopal Vicarage, Fitzgerald

fitzgerald-ga-episcopal-vicarage-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2016

Though I don’t believe it was built for the purpose, this house served for many years as the vicarage of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Fitzgerald.

It was razed in 2018.

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Central Christian Church, 1906, Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald GA Central Christian Church Faith Bapitst Foggy Christmas Morning Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

South Main Street-South Lee Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

One of Fitzgerald’s oldest and most beautiful churches, this is now home to the congregation of Faith Baptist.

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