This church is located just past the Towns community and near the Telfair-Wheeler county line.
Tag Archives: South Georgia African-American History & Culture
I believe the lower floor of this landmark was once the office of Fitzgerald’s first black physician, Dr. Edward Toomer. The structure has been historically known as a boarding house, primarily for black railroad men. Though other businesses have been located here, its connection to Dr. Toomer is certainly the most significant aspect of its history. Sadly, it was demolished in the spring of 2017.
Now known as Antioch First Baptist Church, this was built by the congregation of the First African Baptist Church, who were the first and “mother” church of all the other African-American Baptist congregations in the area. It has its origins in a group of ex-slaves who were first organized as Zion African Baptist Church in 1870. Reverend Frank S. Hazzard was the first pastor. He was the founder in 1880 of the first private school for black children in Ware County, known as Hazzard Hill Baptist School. After meeting in a log cabin for many years, they built a more substantial frame church around the turn of the century. It was destroyed by a storm just a few years later and the present structure was built to replace it in 1905.
National Register of Historic Places