Tag Archives: Churches of Turner County GA

Inaha Baptist Church, Turner County

Inaha Baptist Church Turner County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 20143

This congregation was established in 1890. Inaha, like so many other places in Georgia, was once a busy crossroads with its own store and farmers coming in regularly to “trade” and swap tales. Today, it exists in name only, with the church being the last tangible link to its past. For a nice memory of the place, please read John Wayne McRae’s essay, linked above. He shares some great anecdotes about visits to his uncle and aunt Jim and Margaret Phelps Hale, who operated B. E. Smith’s store in Inaha. And for you non-locals, it’s pronounced eye-na-haw.

A couple of years ago, Vanessa Baker Waid wrote: The old country store that was referred to as being owned by the Hales was actually started by my great grandfather B.E. Smith. My grandfather Charles H. Smith was the last owner of the store and he passed away from cancer in 1968. The store was closed permanently in ’70 or ’71. The Hales did work there at one time (as did other folks) but never owned it.  

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Live Oak Methodist Church, 1888, Turner County

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Southern Structure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Over a year ago, Melvin Newton contacted me about this church. I was amazed because it’s less than fifteen minutes from my parents’ back door and no one I knew had ever even heard of the place. Melvin wrote, in part: There is an old church in Turner County known as Live Oak Methodist Church. It is idle now as there have been no services there for several years. I was born and raised in the Live Oak Community and attended this church from as long as I can remember until I went into the Air Force in 1957. This old church is very dear to me and it’s on its last legs and in dire need of repair.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Endangered Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The congregation was established on 13 September 1888, and though the exterior was sided with asbestos at some point (likely the 1950s or thereabouts), the interior remains virtually original and appears to be contemporary to the date of the founding. As you can see in this view, the middle of the structure is sagging. This is so severe that the brick pillar below the third window from the left has collapsed. It means without stabilization, gravity will cause the structure to fall in on itself at some point.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Rear View Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

A beautiful old oak tree is located at the rear of the building.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Candle Stands Local Craftsmanship Carpentry Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The interior is now absent its pews. I’m hoping family members of the congregation removed them and not vandals. The most striking feature remaining is the handcrafted pulpit and altar and the old piano, which I’ll share from several perspectives here.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Southern Gothic Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The view below show just how badly the floor is sagging.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Southern Sagging Floor Compromised Structural Integrity Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

And here’s a view from the altar to the front door:

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Southern Endangered Architecture Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

These old flowers, perhaps brought in from the cemetery, add color to the place.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Old Christmas Flowers Wreath Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Ultimately, I’m grateful to Melvin Newton for bringing this church to my attention. It’s a real treasure which I fear will soon be lost.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

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New Hope Baptist Church, Sibley

Sibley GA Turner County New Hope Baptist Church Picture Image Photo Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

This congregation was established in 1871 and appears to be all that remains of the enigmatic settlement of Sibley, located just south of present-day Arabi off Georgia Highway 41. I’d appreciate any information about Sibley.

Sibley GA Turner County New Hope Baptist Church Dirt Gravel Road Red Tin Roof Vernacular Steeple Cinder Block Architecture Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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First Apostolic Pentecostal Church, Sycamore

sycamore-ga-first-apostolic-pentacostal-church-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2013

This church appears to have been built around the turn of the last century. The front vestibule appears to be a later addition. James Dean notes that it was formerly the Pleasant Hill Primitive Baptist Church.

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Amboy Baptist Church, Turner County

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This congregation dates to 1905.

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Rebecca United Methodist Church, 1954, Turner County

historic-rebecca-united-methodist-church-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

The first church building of Rebecca Methodist, a frame building, was completed in 1907. Reverend L. B. McMichael was the pastor at the time. In 1919, Rebecca lead a circuit which included Rebecca, Arp and Felder.Providence, and Young’s Chapel.

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Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 1888, Rebecca

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Pleasant Hill Baptist Church was organized in 1876 by a missionary preacher, James R. Fields, who had several other nearby churches in his charge. At the time of its founding, Rebecca was known as Grover; the present church building dates to circa 1888. One of the more interesting rules of church decorum (essentially a set of governing by-laws): “If any member of the Church shall give a party of dance…they shall consider themselves cited to conference.”

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Cemetery

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Allen Smith (26 March 1822 – 21 May 1898)

historic-pleasant-hill-baptist-cemetery-rebecca-ga-mary-smith-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

Mary Smith (4 J uly 1827 – 6 May 1913)

historic-pleasant-hill-baptist-cemetery-rebecca-ga-mary-smith-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

Martha Ann J. Rountree (7 November 1833 – 25 October 1913)

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Private J. Robert McElmurray, Company B, 8th Battallion, Georgia State Guards, CSA (1843 – 1931)

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Sycamore United Methodist Church, 1938

historic-sycamore-united-methodist-church-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

A group of members of Prospect Methodist in Chamblee moved to South Georgia in 1907 and soon thereafter established this church. The first church was built in 1908, but was destroyed by wind in 1925.  The Bethel school served as the church home in the interim. The present structure was completed in 1938, under the leadership of Rev. E. J. Nottingham.

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First United Methodist Church, 1911, Ashburn

historic ashburn united methodist church photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

The origins of Methodism in Ashburn date to 1888, when a Mission Sunday School was formed. By 1895, five separate mission churches came together as one congregation and worshiped in a wood frame sanctuary (built circa 1891 and now in commercial use). Though the National Register of Historic Places Nomination form gives a contradictory date (1917) for the present structure’s construction, I’m using the more recently cited date of 1911, from the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Land was given by James Simon Shingler (1859-1943), Ashburn’s leading citizen of the era and a devout Methodist, who brought in dirt to build up the hill so the church could be seen throughout Ashburn. Macon architect Peter E. Dennis, of the firm Dennis & Dennis, was a close personal friend of J. S. Shingler and was responsible for the design of this church, as well as the most prominent homes in the Shingler Heights neighborhood.

Shingler Heights Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --TURNER COUNTY GA--, Ashburn GA