I’ve been unable to locate a history of the congregation, but I believe the building dates to the first two decades of the 20th century, when this style was quite common with Baptists.
Tag Archives: Churches of Twiggs County
The Jeffersonville Methodist Episcopal congregation was formed in 1839, first meeting in the home of Joshua Grantham. Their first permanent home was located on West Magnolia Street, but was replaced by a more substantial frame structure on this location in the mid-19th century. In 1918, Ella Beckom donated funds for the construction of the present church to honor her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Fran Beckom, but money ran out just as the building reached the window ledges. The congregation met in the old Auburn Institution for several years but in 1923 construction resumed and was completed in 1924.
The Georgia Historical Commission marker reads: Richland Baptist Church was constituted October 5, 1811, with 4 male and 8 female members. The first pastor was Rev. Micajah Fulghum. In June 1861 the ladies of this church made and presented a Confederate flag to the Twiggs Guard. Mrs. Isolene Minter Wimberley made the presentation to Sgt. Warren, color bearer of Co. I, 6th Georgia Regiment. During the war the ladies gathered in the church to prepare first aid kits. Doors of the church closed for regular services in 1911. The Richland Restoration League, Inc., was formed in 1928 to preserve this “Landmark of Christianity”.
Historic Richland Church is truly a landmark, both in terms of Christianity in Georgia and as an architectural gem, built between 1843-45. It’s one of only a few churches in the Piedmont containing a slave gallery that I know of. Except for the slave gallery, it’s very similar in style to Mount Zion Presbyterian Church in Hancock County. Apparently, its builder also constructed some of Twiggs County’s historic plantation houses, a few of which are still standing today.
Luckily, the Richland Restoration League which oversees the site today, is very active and keeps a watchful eye over the place. Vandalism in recent years has lead to more diligence, including regular law enforcement patrols, but that is unfortunately a problem for many such historic places. I’ve never been able to understand why anyone would disturb a place of worship. I’d like to thank Billy Humphries, a trustee of the church, for allowing me to publish these images. He has a real passion for its history and has been very helpful. The church is not open to the public though it is still used by descendants for homecoming and other services. For more information, please visit Historic Richland Church.
National Register of Historic Places