Tag Archives: South Georgia Churches

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 Presbyterian Church, 1884, Waynesboro

Dating to the colonial era, the First Presbyterian Church of Waynesboro was founded in 1760 with the establishment of a church on Briar Creek (Episcopalian) and another on Walnut Branch.  The present church grew out of the union of these two churches in 1812. The present structure, the third to serve the congregation on this site, was dedicated in 1884.

Waynesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Waynesboro GA

Mt. Zion C. M. E. Church, Shell Bluff

 

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Filed under --BURKE COUNTY GA--, Shell Bluff GA

Dodge’s Chapel United Methodist Church, 1920s, Telfair County

This congregation was established in 1886 on land given by the Dodge Lumber Company. Reverend W. D. McGregor was the first pastor. The original church building was destroyed by high winds in the early 1920s and immediately rebuilt.

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Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Jeff Davis County

Mount Pleasant was organized in 1820 and is among the oldest congregations in Jeff Davis County. This structure, built on land given by the Byrd family circa 1878, was used until a newer structure was built next door in 1989. It is sometimes referred to as Byrd Church.

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Filed under --JEFF DAVIS COUNTY GA--

Lone Hill United Methodist Church, Circa 1890s, Coffee County

The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church notes: The story is told that a circuit rider came to hold services at the site of this church and no one came, so he called it “Lone Hill”. The first building was erected on this site, in Coffee County, between 1848 and 1854…The adjacent cemetery contains the graves of the early settlers to the community. The earliest marked grave is of the infant son of Dan and Winafred Newbern born and died January 4, 1848.

The cemetery is also home to the National Champion Eastern Red Cedar.

 

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Filed under --COFFEE COUNTY GA--