Tag Archives: Churches of Jefferson County GA

Ways Baptist Church, 1851, Jefferson County

Ways Baptist Church was organized in 1817 near the present-day community of Stellaville, about three miles east of Wrens. It was named for Bill Way, who donated the land on which it was sited. The members were originally part of Brushy Creek Baptist Church but were dismissed for some reason, perhaps because they had slaves. Enslaved persons were among the first members of the new congregation. A log cabin was built first, then a more formal structure, replaced by this church in 1851. It features what appears to be a slave gallery (common in churches with slave members) and was likely built by the slaves themselves. After emancipation, they founded their own congregation nearby, known as Ways Grove Baptist Church.

It is a beautiful church and churchyard, and there is an historic cemetery across the highway.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Zebina GA

Ebenezer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1877, Jefferson County

Ebenezer can trace its roots to the 1770s, when a group of Whigs split with the Tories at nearby Buckhead Bethel Church (known today as Bethel, in Vidette). The Whigs first met on the property of Richard Fleeting. The church was first known as Fleeting’s Meeting House, then Big Creek, before settling on Ebenezer. Reverend Thomas Beattie was the first pastor, sometimes dividing his duties between Buckhead Bethel and Louisville. He died suddenly and was replaced by a Tory, the Reverend William Donaldson, but due to the Revolutionary fervor of most members he left the congregation in 1776. The next minister, Reverend David Bothwell, cam from Ireland in 1790. Bothwell was a friend and counselor to Governor Jared Irwin. Irwin, and Governors James Jackson and David Emanuel were elders at Bethel. Erskine Caldwell’s father, Ira Sylvester Caldwell, preached here much later, as well.

The church, located between Louisville and Wrens, is still active and has done a wonderful job maintaining the church and its historic graveyard.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--

First Baptist Church, Stapleton

historic-first-baptist-church-stapleton-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2017

This congregation was organized in 1905.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Stapleton GA

Ways Grove Baptist Church, Stellaville

Old Ways Grove Baptist Church Stellaville GA Jefferson County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

A modern brick church stands adjacent to this structure. I’m glad the congregation has done their best to save this structure.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Stellaville GA

Bartow Methodist Church, 1890s, Jefferson County

Bartow Methodist Church Shingle Steeple Jefferson County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

According to Lorraine Frederick Minton, whose great-great-great-grandfather, Francis Eugene Flanders founded the church, it was designed with a “Quaker Heart”. Flanders was a circuit rider. Her great-great-great-great-grandfather, Richard Drake, was the architect. She notes: It was originally built on the other side of the “swamp” and later pulled by oxen and placed on logs to cross the swamp and placed where it is today. The original church records are now reported to be stored at Lake Junaluska, NC.

Bartow UMC was organized on 18 July 18 1879. In the late 1890’s the church was moved into the town of Bartow. The original church building was torn down and rebuilt.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Bartow GA

Bartow Baptist Church, 1925, Jefferson County

Bartow GA Baptist Church Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Constituted as the First Baptist Church, the congregation now simply calls itself Bartow Baptist Church. J. G. Gunter was the pastor at the time this structure was raised. The cornerstone lists the building committee as: J. R. O. Smith; A. S. Chamlee; N. A. Williams; T. C. Jordan; T. Y. Smith; G. H. Ratchford; and L. G. Smith.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Bartow GA

St. Mark A.M.E. Church, Wadley

Wadley GA Jefferson County Twin Steeple African American Church Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This was photographed in late 2012. It’s a great example of a common style that is usually found modified today.

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Filed under --JEFFERSON COUNTY GA--, Wadley GA