Bethel Brick United Methodist Church, Georgia

Screven County Georgia

The Brick Church was built in 1827 on land donated by Reverend Payton Wade. Enslaved labor from the Lebanon Forest Plantation built this church building, and it’s a testament to their skills that this is simultaneously the oldest church and oldest brick church in Screven County.

According to 1859 member rolls, there were 419 Black members and 150 white members. Considering the Wade family enslaved over 400 people, it is likely that most of the Black members were enslaved by the Wade family. There was a slave gallery at one point, indicated by the covered windows at the top. The gallery has since been removed.

The church and cemetery are still in use today. The Wade plantation still exists as a pecan farm, but it is no longer owned by the Wades.

Entryway to Wade family plot

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