Tag Archives: Churches of Effingham County GA

Goshen United Methodist Church & Cemetery, Circa 1751 & 1820s, Rincon

Due to the growth of the Salzburger settlement at Ebenezer by the 1740s, a need arose for new churches to serve a dispersed population. Goshen Church was built about 1751, established about a mile from the present location as Goshen Lutheran Church.  Oral tradition states that when a malaria outbreak threatened the health and lives of Goshen’s congregants, they sawed the church in half and moved it to this site, where they rebuilt it. Goshen remained part of the Ebenezer Parish until after the American Revolution. Goshen had always been served by Lutheran pastors who preached in German, and because of the language barrier, Pastor Bergman invited Bishop Asbury to send Methodist preachers to reach the congregation. Moravian missionaries used the church as a meetinghouse after the Lutherans moved on.

In 1820, Reverend James O. Andrew established the Methodist congregation at Goshen and the Lutherans transferred the property a few years later. The Reverend Lewis Myers began his pastorate circa 1823 and served the church for many years.

Goshen was a town long before Rincon existed and was the site of the first post office in Effingham County. Local lore maintains the George Washington once visited the church trading post.

Goshen Cemetery

The earliest identified burials in Goshen Cemetery date to around the time the Methodists assumed ownership of the church and it is the final resting place of many Effingham County pioneers. The following monuments and headstones are presented randomly and I photographed them as much for their aesthetic appeal as their historical importance.

A brick enclosure, perhaps built by enslaved men, surrounds the gravesites of many members of the Gugel family, who were prominent members of the church and community.

Tomb of Hannah Gugel Nowlan (January 1791-10 September 1833) The slab reads: To the memory of Mrs. Hannah Nowlen Who departed this life Sept 10th 1833 Aged 42 years and 9 months

Can marble tell the worth of Spirit felt Where dust here mingles with its kindred dead: Say there – the faithful friend in silence rests. The Mother whose fond heart was tenderness. The Child whose filial joy of filial love
Now draw the parents hears to realms above, The sister loving constant, true, sincere The Christian meek to Zion precious one

Here rests in Hope

Mrs. Nowlan was the wife of George Galphin Nowlan, 1787-1816, Colonel in the War of 1812. Colonel Nowlan is buried in Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville.

The tomb is signed by Savannah stonemasons Maxwell & Gow.

Margaret Waldhaur Gugel (8 April 1762-28 September 1844) and David Gugel (21 January 1764-24 April 1842) were the parents of Hannah Nowlan. David Gugel was a private and fifer in the Georgia Militia, enlisted in 1782. He served under General Anthony Wayne, helped build bridges and guard the Ebenezer magazine and the stores at Zubly’s Ferry.

Mary Ann Gugel Olcott (1797-24 January 1822) Mrs. Olcott was also a daughter of Margaret and David Gugel. She was married to Reverend James S. Olcott. The headstone indicates that two of her babies are buried here, as well.

Detail of headstone of Elizabeth Gugel Charlton (13 February 1793-11 July 1869) Mrs. Charlton was also a daughter of Margaret and David Gugel.

William Bandy (24 October 1799-24 May 1825) and Mary Bandy (16 October 1795-16 October 1825)

Tree of Life tympanum of Sarah Ann Black Zittrouer (14 December 1830-20 December 1899)

Tree of Life tympanum of William Josiah Zittrouer (10 September 1820-4 March 1895). Mr. Zittrouer was a Confederate veteran.

Cast iron boundary marker, Exley lot.

Bessie Margaret Exley (1892-1896)

 

 

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Filed under --EFFINGHAM COUNTY GA--, Rincon GA

Mizpah United Methodist Church, 1859, Effingham County

From the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church: In the late 1850s, Dr. Ayer from Rome came to the community to visit his daughter, Mrs. Anderson P. Longstreet, who lived in the community. There was no Methodist church in the area at this time and so Dr. Ayer contributed financially to funding a church. Lewis Grovenstein, Benjamin C. Porter, and A. P. Longstreet was selected to organize the new sanctuary and four acres were selected from property owned by George W. Best. The new structure was a frame building measuring thirty-five feet by fifty feet by thirteen feet and was completed in December 1859. On March 18, 1860, the church was organized with twenty females and twenty males on the roll. This church was served by two pastors, Rev. B. F. Breedlove and Rev. L. L. Strange. The first quarterly conference was held in September 1866, under the pastorate of Rev. N. D. Morehouse. In 1885, money was collected to “remodel, repair and paint” the church and, in 1886, the roof was extended in the front and pews were built…In August 1945, electricity was installed at Mizpah… Also in the 1940s, the inside of the sanctuary was remodeled so that the separate entrances and seating for men and women were changed to one double door and one center aisle. In 1953, the wood burning stove was replaced with a gas heater…

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New Hope A. M. E. Church, 1885, Guyton

Celebrating its sesquicentennial this year, New Hope A. M. E. Church was founded by former slaves on 4 August 1869. It’s the oldest black church in Guyton and among the oldest A. M. E. congregations in Southeast Georgia. The original members, mostly the families of carpenters, farmers, turpentiners, and millers, had been members of Methodist churches and sought to build a congregation and community. The neighborhood came to be known as Sugar Hill.

I had the good fortune  of meeting Mrs. Pearl Powell Boynes, who graciously invited me inside the church with my camera. She was a delightful lady who has a background in history and great reverence for her ancestors’ contributions to New Hope. The above photo of her great-grandparents, George (born 1828) and Eve McCall, graces the vestibule of the church.

Reverend W. H. Wells was the first pastor. The church was built with rough-hewn lumber joined with wood pegs and square nails. Originally, the exterior was covered with hand-carved shingles and the walls made of hog-hair and cement plaster. Some of the shingles remain on the exterior. The chandelier in the middle of the sanctuary has been a prominent feature since around the turn of the century. It was originally gas-powered.

The hand-carved pews have been in use since the church was completed.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --EFFINGHAM COUNTY GA--, Guyton GA

Bethel Lutheran Church, 1872, Effingham County

historic bethel lutheran church springfield effingham county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Bethel Lutheran was founded as a branch of Jerusalem Lutheran Church. People regularly walked or rode the 10-15 miles from this area near Springfield to Ebenezer to attend Jerusalem. Sometime prior to 1855 congregants began gathering on this site and conducted services in a brush arbor. Soon, it was obvious that a permanent church was needed here. Reverend Ernest Bergman was the first pastor to hold regular services at what would come to be known as Bethel.  It remains an active congregation to this day.

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Guyton United Methodist Church, 1840s

Guyton Methodist Church Antebellum Landmark Conical Shake Steeple Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

To my knowledge, this is the only antebellum structure standing in Guyton. There was a Confederate hospital in the community and General William T. Sherman’s forces occupied the area in their approach to Savannah so I was intrigued to learn that this wonderful old church was somehow spared. I’d appreciate further information on its history. It’s known today as Guyton United Methodist Church.

Guyton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --EFFINGHAM COUNTY GA--, Guyton GA

Guyton Christian Church

Guyton Christian Church Effingham County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This beautiful church was organized no later than 1873 as Antioch Christian Church. It is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation. Its name was changed in 1900 to Guyton Christian Church. The congregation cemetery, located nearby on Little McCall Road, dates to 1873, but I do not know the date of this structure. It may be contemporary to the cemetery.

Guyton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Pine Street Baptist Church, Guyton

Pine Street Baptist Church Guyton GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Guyton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Effingham County Methodist Campground, Springfield

effingham-county-campmeeting-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

Thought to be the oldest campmeeting in continuous existence in the South, the Effingham County Methodist Campground has been held at several locations since 1790, with the present tabernacle dating to 1910. The family “tents” which line the campground are actually permanent structures where people gather during events, which were once much longer in duration than today.

effingham-county-methodist-tabernacle-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

A historical marker placed by the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1990 notes: Effingham Camp Meeting has the longest record of continuous service in South Georgia-from 1790 according to oral tradition. The first camp ground was off Sisters’ Ferry Road on land of George Powledge, later sold to Gideon Mallette. In 1864 the site was burned during Sherman’s March to the Sea. In 1865 and 1866 encampment was held at Turkey Branch Methodist Church. In 1867 the camp ground was rebuilt on the Edward Bird tract at Springfield. In 1907 the present site was occupied after an exchange with G. M. Brinson. August encampment includes the third Sunday.

“Tents” of the Effingham County Methodist Campground

effingham-county-methodist-campground-zettler-tent-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012The Zettler Tent

effingham-county-methodist-campground-tent-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

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Filed under --EFFINGHAM COUNTY GA--, Springfield GA

Zion Lutheran Church, 1872, Effingham County

historic-zion-lutheran-church-effingham-county-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

Organized as a branch of Georgia’s oldest church, Jerusalem Lutheran in Ebenezer, Zion Lutheran Church traces its origins to 1845. Around that time, a meeting house was built on this site near the Ogeechee River to accommodate members who found it difficult to make the journey to Ebenezer. On 8 December 1864, Major General William T. Sherman headquartered in this historic churchyard en route to Savannah. The present structure was built in 1872 and continues to serve an active congregation.

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Meldrim Christian Church, 1896

meldrim-ga-historic-antebellum-church-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

For several years I suspected this church to be antebellum due to the second-floor windows, which often indicate a slave’s gallery, but thanks to Pastor Greg McAlister, I now know that isn’t the case. McAlister is the pastor of Solid Rock Baptist Church, the congregation presently calling this beautiful old building home and he notes that it was established as the Meldrim Christian Church in 1896.

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Filed under --EFFINGHAM COUNTY GA--, Meldrim GA