Tag Archives: Churches of Brooks County GA

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church, Circa 1861, Brooks County

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist church was established in 1834 as the Baptist Church at Christ Bethlehem, just two years after the Primitive sect was formed nationally from a  split with the Missionary Baptists. They formally affiliated with the Primitive Baptists in 1840.

The present church, constructed circa 1861, is one of the few remaining antebellum structures surviving in Brooks County.

To those familiar with the Crawfordite Primitve Baptists of Southeast Georgia, it will look quite familiar, as it is plain, unpainted, and contains multiple entrances.

The congregation disbanded in 1964, had a brief revival between 1981-1984, and has been inactive ever since.

It’s a serene place that will hopefully be preserved far into the future.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--

Morven United Methodist Church, 1907, Brooks County

 

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Morven GA

Mt. Zion Campground United Methodist Church, 1881, Brooks County

The Georgia Historical Commission marker placed here in 1956 reads: The first Camp Meeting was held on this site in 1828 by a “few scattered Methodists” before any Methodist Church in the area was organized. William Hendry, William Blair and Hamilton W. Sharpe, as a committee, selected the site. Rev. Adam Wyrick was the first visiting preacher. In 1831 Sion and Enoch Hall deeded the land on which the Camp Ground stood to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Housed first in a brush-arbor, the weeklong meetings were held without interruption until 1881. Then the camp meetings ceased and the nearby church was built. Meetings were practically continuous each day from sunrise until after “candle-lighting.”

The sign on the church states that the present building dates to 1856, which is plausible considering the architecture, but according to the two sources I have access to, the historical marker and the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, the date is 1881. I hope to learn more about this discrepancy.

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--

West End Cemetery, Quitman

Quitman’s first cemetery, West End was established in 1859. It has the inviting park-like atmosphere typical of Victorian cemeteries and is a nice place to walk around. When I was here, the camellias were in full bloom, providing nice contrast to the Spanish moss hanging from old oaks.

Seventeen unknown Confederate soldiers are buried near the rear of the cemetery.

The grafted camellias are a highlight when they’re in bloom.

 

 

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Quitman GA

Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, Barwick

Historic Harmony Primitive Baptist Churh Barwick GA Brooks County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

This historic congregation dates to 1855.

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Barwick GA

Saint James Episcopal Church, Quitman

Historic St James Episcopal Church Quitman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Terry Miller writes that though founded in 1898, this is not the original location of the church.

Quitman Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --THOMAS COUNTY GA--, Quitman GA

First Presbyterian Church, 1909, Quitman

Historic First Presbyterian Church Quitman GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Located just behind the courthouse, this church with its beautiful and unusual copper dome is a real architectural gem for Quitman and South Georgia.

Quitman Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Quitman GA

Liberty Baptist Church, 1858, Grooverville

Liberty Baptist Church Grooverville GA Brooks County Historic Antebellum Architecture Slave Gallery Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August, Liberty Baptist is one of the few surviving examples of an antebellum church structure in South Georgia. Though nearby Grooverville Methodist is thought to be antebellum, as well, it’s privately owned and not listed, to my knowledge. The following images show the sanctuary and slave gallery.

Liberty Baptist Church Grooverville GA Brooks County Historic Antebellum Architecture Pews Slave Gallery Interior Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Liberty Baptist Church Grooverville GA Brooks County Historic Antebellum Architecture Windows Shutters Pews Pulpit Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Liberty Baptist Church Grooverville GA Brooks County Historic Antebellum Architecture Pulpit Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The “balcony” seen in the images above is the slave gallery. I’ve photographed several churches with slave galleries, mostly near the coast, and they are generally larger there.

Grooverville GA Brooks County Liberty Baptist Church Antebellum Architecture Slave Gallery Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Liberty Baptist Church Grooverville GA Brooks County Historic Antebellum Architecture Pews Slave Gallery Stairwell Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

And finally, this historic marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1956: Between 1837-1841 the Baptists in this section were stirred on Missions, Sunday Schools and ministerial support. In 1841 the Ocklochnee anti-Missionary Baptist Assn. passed a ruling to dismiss members believing in the “new fangled institutions of the day.” Disagreeing, Sister Nancy Hagen asked for her letter from Mt. Moriah Church and, at her request, was excommunicated. With Elisha Pack Smith, R. T. Stanaland, James I. Baker, Mrs. Sarah Ann Groover, Mrs. Mary Smith, Mrs. Amanda Denmark and Sam Whitfield, she organized this church. The first pastor was Elder R. J. May. Mt. Moriah Church ceased to exist long ago.

Liberty Baptist Church Grooverville GA Brooks County Historic Marker Antebellum Architecture Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Grooverville GA

Grooverville Methodist Church, 1856, Brooks County

I was unable to get a better shot of this church as it’s surrounded by a fence and very aggressive dogs. It’s now privately owned, and since there has been vandalism in the area before, I understand the desire to protect it. Though on a different road, it’s virtually next door to Liberty Baptist Church. The historic marker placed  by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1966 reads: This church had its beginning in 1832, on the plantation of William H. Ramsey, about 4 1/2 miles Southwest of here. There being no Methodist services in the vicinity at the time he and his family moved to this area, Mr. Ramsey built a brush arbor near his home and there held Bible study and worship services. Later he joined with other Methodist families and built a log church 31/2 miles South on the road to St. Marks. They named this church, Lebanon, and some time during the 1840s it was made a regular monthly appointment. In 1856, it was decided to move the church to Grooverville, a more central location, and Malachi Groover made a deed of gift to one acre of land – the present site – to Richard Ramsey, M. W. Linton and W. R. Joiner as Trustees. Mr. Linton sawed the lumber and the carpenters from his plantation built the church edifice. The name of the church was then changed from Lebanon to Grooverville, and it became the largest on a circuit originally composted of Grooverville, Prospect, Hickory Head and Beulah. Three grandsons of Wm. H. Ramsey, the founder of this church, became Methodist ministers in Georgia conferences.

As of 2016, the dogs were removed from the property in an alleged animal hoarding/welfare case. I sincerely hope that this means good things are in store for the future of this historic structure.

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Grooverville GA

First Elizabeth Baptist Church, Grooverville

First Elizabeth Baptist Church Grooverville GA Brooks County Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Grooverville GA