Category Archives: Churches

Pearson’s United Methodist Church, Georgia

Altamaha, Tattnall County

Founded in 1868, the church still holds services on the first Sunday of each month.

St. Luke’s Baptist Church and School, Georgia

Hog Hammock, McIntosh County

Founded in 1884, St. Luke’s Baptist Church is still an active church with services every other Sunday. It was formed by former members of the First African Baptist Church. The church was initially called the 2nd Baptist Church. Current structure has been in use since 1902.

St. Luke’s also had one of two Rosenwald Schools on the island. Everything I’ve read states that the school is still standing and is being used by the church. If that is the case, this is the school, but it has been heavily modified. I hope to get confirmation that this is the building.

Pin Point Cemetery, Georgia

Pin Point, Chatham County
Edward Anderson

Pin Point Cemetery shares land with the Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church. It’s a small cemetery in the heart of the fishing community founded by freedmen and women from the Sea Islands. I cannot discern if the Pin Point Cemetery and Sweetfield of Eden graveyard are the same or if there was a boundary line that was no longer apparent.

Reverend Peter Famble

Ella Garmon
Margaret Devoe
Clarence Fleming, 1994-2017

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church and School, Georgia

Burroughs, Chatham County

Built in 1896, St. Bartholomew’s Church is the longest continuing Black Episcopal congregation in the state. The school, now the parish hall, was built in 1897.

The Victorian elements of the church make it a standout in rural church architecture. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

The church is still active with services offered twice a month. They are held in the afternoon, which is a long-standing tradition of the church.

Houston Baptist Church, Georgia

Port Wentworth, Chatham County

Founded in 1886 by Reverend Ulysses S. Houston of the First Bryan Baptist Church in Savannah, the Houston Baptist Church was founded to provide for the spiritual needs of the men and women of Rice Hope Plantation. The church, and the adjoining cemetery, sit on part of the land that used to make up the plantation. When built, it took over the footprint of a praise house that existed there during slavery.

The church was active until the 1970s. Unfortunately, it fell into disrepair, and it almost collapsed after a storm in 2007. The community chose to rebuild the historic church. It presently is a museum that focuses on the Black history of the surrounding community.

For earlier photos before restoration and more history, please read The Houston Museum Project.

Euhaw Baptist Church, South Carolina

Grahamville, Jasper County

From the historical marker, “Established on Edisto Island about 1686 by Scotch dissenters, this is the second oldest Baptist organization in the South. For many years a branch of First Baptist Church in Charleston, Euhaw declared itself a separate church in 1745 after relocating to this vicinity from Edisto Island. A sanctuary was built 6 mi. NE in 1751; it burned in 1857. The first sanctuary on this site was built in 1860. It burned in 1904 and was replaced by the sanctuary in 1906, which is still used for occasional services. The present sanctuary nearby was built in 1982.”

The church was built for the wealthy planters who used Grahamville as a summer home. The sanctuary was built to hold over a 1000 people, most of those seats being taken by the enslaved people of the church members.

First McCanaan Baptist Church, Georgia

Sardis, Burke County

The Old McCanaan Missionary Baptist Church, now the First McCanaan Baptist Church, was founded in 1875. Many of the founding members were sharecroppers from the nearby Millhaven Plantation. It served as a spiritual gathering place the Black men and women of the area. The first building for the church was lost due to fire. By 1912, the new building was erected, which the congregation still uses today.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 for as an excellent example of Gothic Revival in a rural Southern church.

Noah’s Ark Baptist Church, Georgia

Keysville, Burke County

Noah’s Ark Baptist Church was organized in 1864 in Burke County, Georgia. It was one of the founding churches for newly freedmen and women in Burke County. Starting under a brush arbor, the congregation moved into a tenant located near where their current church building stands.

Noah Smith donated land to build the first church. after the first two buildings were destroyed by wind and fire, They moved to their following location, where two more buildings were built. The building above was built in 1883 at a cost of $1900. It was in use until 2006. The congregation is now active at a new sanctuary.

This is a common headstone seen in Black church cemeteries throughout Burke and Jefferson counties.
An interesting marker in the cemetery.
An outside view of one of the windows
A view through a broken window shows the state of the church with more than a decade of being unused.

Zion Episcopal Church, Georgia

Talbotton, Talbot County

Built in 1848 and consecrated in 1853, the Zion Episcopal Church in Talbotton, Georgia was recently restored. This carpenter gothic style church served as a congregation for a planter class of families who had relocated from the coast.

Like many antebellum churches, the church was built with a slave gallery that still lines the upper perimeter of the church. The doors were locked, so I was unable to document the inside.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

The backside of the church as viewed from the road
Marker for Elizabeth Margaret White, 1813-1850

Philadelphia School, Georgia

Atlanta, Fulton County

Built around 1938, the Philadelphia School is tied to the freedman’s church, Philadelphia Baptist Church. The church was founded in 1875. The land where this school sits was purchased in 1883. Records show there were teachers associated with the church by 1885. Unfortunately, in April 1936, a fire in the schoolhouse spread to the chapel and destroyed both buildings.

Piney Woods Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Georgia

Chattahoochee Hills, Fulton County

Founded in 1852, the Piney Woods Primitive Baptist Church is located in the crossroads town called Rico which now makes up the town Chattahoochee Hills. It has a mixture of box slab crypts, seashell covered graves, field stone markers, and traditional late 1800s headstones.

The church moved from the site by 1856, but the cemetery stayed active close to 1900. One side of the cemetery contains burials with no markers. It’s believed they are for men and women who were born into slavery of the founders of the church and the town of Rico.

The seashell covered graves were a Southern phenomenon. In the Christian tradition, they represent a person’s travels through life and the final passage involves crossing water into the promised land. An articles that provides further details can be read here.