Tag Archives: Churches of Screven County GA

Oak Grove Methodist Church, 1919, Screven County

Oak Grove Methodist Church Screven County GA Dirt Road Cemetery Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Oak Grove stands at the end of a lonely dirt road in rural Screven County, not far from the Savannah River and the South Carolina state line. It’s as perfect a setting for such a place as one could imagine.

Historic Oak Grove Methodist Church Endangered African American Landmark Screven County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Established in the first generation after slavery, the congregation dates to 1876. The first church built here is now lost to history, but was likely of crude construction.

Historic Oak Grove Methodist Church Screven County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

The present structure, which is critically endangered and beyond saving, was built in 1919. It was likely in use until the 1970s. The congregation survives at another location today.

Oak Grove Methodist Church Screven County GA Interior York Player Piano Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Nothing remains inside the church but the ruins of a York Player Piano. I would advise strongly against entering due to the instability of the structure.

Oak Grove Methodist Church View Out the Front Portico Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

 

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Trinity Church, Screven County

Hiltonia Area Screven County GA Abandoned Church Being Dismantled Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

This is located just west of Hiltonia. It appears the lumber is being salvaged.

Abandoned Church Near Hiltonia Screven County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The front gable features shingles at the corners.

hiltoniachurchshingledetail

The interior, which must have been a lovely space at one time, is merely a shell of its former self today.

Screven County GA Hiltonia Area Abandoned Country Church Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The pulpit is the only feature that still resembles a church.

Screven County GA Abandoned Church Interior Near Hiltonia Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Thanks to Rita Howard for the identification.

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Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Hiltonia GA

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church, 1870, Screven County

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church Screven County GA Historic Landmark Vernacular Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

This quaint historic church is a testament to a congregation’s desire to preserve a place of worship, long after its last regular services were held. Most of the people in this community weren’t even born when the church was still active but according to Cheryl Bazemore, whose grandparents were among the builders of the church, a homecoming is held by descendants of the congregation each year. This explains the ceiling fans.

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church Screven County GA 1870 Landmark Interior Pulpit Pews Preserved Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

It’s a simple, utilitarian design, with board-and batten exterior walls, and very plain pews and pulpit, yet it really exemplifies the beauty of the country church.

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church Screven County GA 1870 Landmark Interior Pulpit Pews Utilitarian Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

A historic marker placed on the grounds in 1963 states: Organized 1868 under bush arbor on Stephen D. Lewis farm by Elder Theo. A. Pharr, John Hardy Bolton, Julia Wells Bolton, Stephen D. Lewis, Martha Howard Lewis, Paul Jenkins, Temperance Jenkins, Fulton L. Oglesby, Mary Bolton Oglesby and others on land given by Alexander James Wells and Isaac Thomas Bazemore. Original Trustees: John W. Boston, James Allen Bazemore, Green Berry Waters, Alexander James Wells and Abisha Humphrey Bazemore. Among early preachers: John Jenkins, W.D. Smith, Abisha Humphrey Bazemore, A.F. Ellington, Emory F. Dean, Jacob Perry Bazemore, David Matthews Bazemore, A.M. Johnson and John W. Roach.

June, 1957: church and cemetery set aside as perpetual memorial to founders by deed from Methodist Conference to Trustees, all of whom are descendants: Dora Bazemore Brooker, E. Lampkin Bazemore, I. Thomas Sanders, James Eugene Bazemore, Charles Thurman Hopkins, Sr., Lilla Sanders Smith, John W. Gross, Palmer A. Bazemore and Bertha Hoffman.

A sign over the entrance to the church yard dates the building to 1870.

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church Screven County GA 1870 Landmark Interior Pulpit Pews Utilitarian Preserved Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

It’s good to know that the property is actively patrolled by the Screven County Sheriff’s Department and I’m glad to see that deputies leave notes when they notice suspicious activity.

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church Screven County GA Historic Landmark Patrolled by Police Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The cemetery has a nice fence with alternating white and green boards.

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church Screven County GA Green and White Picket Cemetery Fence Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

It’s definitely worth finding if you happen to be in the area.

Wesleyanna Memorial Methodist Church Screven County GA Historic Landmark Board and Batten Siding Vernacular Architecture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

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First Baptist Church, 1918, Sylvania

First Baptist Church 1917 Sylvania GA Screven County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The congregation dates to 1847. The present structure, dating to 1918, was renovated in 1972 by Augusta civil engineer Harry Peihl Vankerhoff.  It’s one of the most noticeable landmarks in Sylvania.

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Little Ogeechee Baptist Church, 1912, Oliver

historic little ogeechee baptist church oliver ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

According to Dawn Daley, via present pastor Vernon Edenfield, this is the oldest church in Screven County, and thought to be the second oldest Baptist church in Georgia. Robert Peavy writes: Oliver native Miss Pauline Smith (1885-1963) indicated in her three-page historical sketch of the town of Oliver that the present building was erected about 1912 (when the old Methodist Church was built and when the town was incorporated—the School House, now gone, had been built in 1910). An old photograph of the short-lived Lutheran Church shows rather dimly, in the distance with the cemetery separating them, a not-overly fancy church with a neo-classical porch roof supported by four square columns, which would have replaced the original log building of the Little Ogeechee Baptist Congregation; thus, the present structure is at least the third building for this congregation, which dates to 1790. Robin Robbins also notes that the church was used as a set location for the 1974 movie, Buster and Billie.

Gravestone Art at Little Ogeechee Baptist Church Cemetery

Little Ogeechee, like many old cemeteries, is a beautiful showplace for the stonemason’s art. I’ve chosen a few of my favorite decorative headstones to share.

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery stephen t newton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Stephen T. Newton (29 May 1829-6 December 1882)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery naomi morton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Naomi Morton (1806-16 October 1887)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery bernard horton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Bernard Horton Huggins (25 August 1906-26 March 1908)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery lanier toddler photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Daughter of W.V. & L. O. Lanier (14 March 1917-2 February 1918)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery florie brewer photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Florie A. Brewer (12 August 1845-17 September 1891)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery oscar w brewer photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Oscar W. Brewer (17 October 1872-8 March 1889)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery miss levina morton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Levina Morton (20 May 1825-16 June 1899)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery martha dugger photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Martha A. Dugger (14 June 1829-13 February 1897)

little ogeechee baptist church miriam lee photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Miriam Lee (22 February 1908-22 November 1910)

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Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Oliver GA

Methodist Church, 1912, Oliver

historic oliver methodist church photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Although a Methodist church, this structure features three large stained-glass windows with the Star of David motif, traditionally a symbol of the Jewish faith. According to Bob Peavy, whose father was christened here in 1919, the congregation was established in 1907. Please see his detailed comments about the church history in the comments section. The church has most recently been used as a restaurant, Oliver on 24.

oliver ga methodist church restaurant photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

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Newington United Methodist Church, 1916

historic newington methodist church screven county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

The railroad came to Newington in 1909, the same year the town received its charter. As there was no church in the town, the Methodists began holding Sunday School, first in a shack, and then after it burned, on the platform of the railroad depot. By 1913, efforts were underway to fund the construction of a church and it was formally dedicated in 1916.

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Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Newington GA