Tag Archives: South Georgia Churches
The cornerstone of this idyllic country church near Lake Blackshear notes that it was completed in 1962 at the initiation of Reverend J. B. Josey, who died before construction was completed. Reverend Matthew Brown was pastor when the church was dedicated and deacons were Brother R. M. Mercer, Chairman; Brother Oscar Daniel, Vice Chairman; Brother Willie Hooks, Sexton; Brother George Harris, Treasurer; Brother Brother Ike Holt, Sr.; Brother Joseph Holt; Brother Robert Walker; and Mrs. Jewel Jones, Secretary.
Friendship was founded by members of Liberty Baptist Church who split with that congregation over doctrine in 1839. The congregation expanded significantly throughout the 1840s and was the spiritual home of many prominent area farmers. It is the oldest surviving church building in Sumter County.
Wiley Carter, the great-great grandfather of President Jimmy Carter, joined with his wife and an enslaved female in 1852. He bought and presumably moved the original church upon the construction of the present structure in 1857. In the five years following the Civil War, many emancipated slaves joined the congregation, but by 1870 had formed their own church, New Bethel.
I first identified this historic structure, south of Mauk, as a schoolhouse, largely due to the fact that it still has traces of red paint. But George Woodall, who grew up in Mauk, relates that it was Liberty Methodist Church. It’s definitely endangered and will likely not survive much longer without intervention.
The history of Shiloh, as well as that of its neighbor, Horeb Baptist, are a bit confusing as the congregations have variously been located in Talbot and Taylor Counties, with the county lines being redrawn at least once through the church yards and cemeteries. [I welcome any corrections of inconsistencies in my research and will update as needed].
Shiloh Primitive Baptist was first located near Dean’s Mill in Talbot County, circa 1840. It was then known as the Church of Christ Shiloh. In 1852, it was located in Talbot County, five miles north of Centerville; in 1872, it was located near Prattsburg. According to a sign at the church, this structure (the Prattsburg church) was moved to this location circa 1888. It is of the vernacular Greek Revival style common among Taylor and Talbot County churches.
Reverend Dennis O’Driscoll began holding services in a brush arbor on the Ellaville-Americus Road in 1860 and that fledgling congregation built this classical structure on land given by the C. B. Strange family in 1871. It is unclear whether the church was named for the Apostle Andrew or for Bishop James O. Andrew, the first Georgian to be elected a bishop.
Original trustees were F. J. Greene, G. H. Walker, J. H. S. Baisden, O. A. Crittenden and C. B. Strange. Reverend John Marshall served as pastor from 1872-1873.
A Sunday School wing was added to the original chapel in 1948.
Travelers Rest was an early community near the banks of the Flint River, settled circa 1830 as pioneers pushed westward in the Georgia interior. On land given by pioneer David Jones in 1836, the Methodists established a church and cemetery here, which they shared with Travelers Rest Baptist until that congregation built a new home, just steps away, in 1867. For many years they were referred to as twin churches.
Travelers Rest was incorporated as Bristol in 1838 but by the 1860s was supplanted in importance by the growing communities of Oglethorpe and Montezuma, a few miles distant. Since most members of Travelers Rest Methodist moved their letters to new congregations in those communities, the church was deeded to the Travelers Rest C. M. E. Church in 1884. The present structure was built circa 1890 by the African-Americans and hosted its last service in 1994. Graves of black and white members are scattered around the building, mostly obscured by vegetation today and in desperate need of attention.
Two people reached out to me to say that the old DeBerry Baptist Church was being torn down. The original chapel is around 100 years old.
There is a larger more modern facility on the property and I presumed the demolition would allow for further expansion. However, Rafe Semmes writes that the reason the church is being torn down is that foundation has suffered extensive rot and the cost of repair was deemed too expensive to be practical.