Category Archives: Schools

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.

Palmer School, South Carolina

Centenary, Marion County

Built in the later part of the 19th Century, the Palmer School is the oldest schoolhouse remaining in Marion County. The school and the adjacent cemetery are named after David Palmer, an SC legislature.

It operated until the 1920s educating white school children from the area.

After years of neglect, the school is going under restoration. You can see older photos of the school on the South Carolina Picture Project website.

Gifford Rosenwald School, South Carolina

Gifford, Hampton County

Built in 1920 for $3250, this two-teacher type schools was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. There is a current fundraising campaign to restore the school.

Hampton Colored School, South Carolina

Hampton, Hampton County

Built in 1929, it served as the only Black school in Hampton until the high school was built in 1947. It then served as the lunchroom for the new high school.

It now serves the community as a Black history museum. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

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.

Old Rico School, Georgia

Chattahoochee Hills, Fulton County

Located in the community once known as Rico, the “Old” Rico School was built before 1900 and was in use until 1932 when a new school was built just down the road. It was a four-room schoolhouse with a central hallway. It was turned into a single home dwelling that is now abandoned.

Bold Springs CME Church and School, Georgia

Jackson, Butts County

Bold Springs CME Church was founded on February 20, 1874, when the trustees of the church, Willie Moreland, Clark Bell, and Sam Stillwell, purchased the land from Charles Sims, a local farmer.

Initially, the church served as both a school and a place of worship. The congregation is uncertain of when the two-room school was built. They messaged my page on Facebook asking for help. They were initially going to tear it down, but they now would like to try to save it. They need help since they are a small, aging congregation.

Based on newspaper articles, I know the church was built before 1930 and used until 1958 when school consolidation happened. Based on similar buildings I’ve seen around the state, I am dating it in the late 1910s. For any architectural experts who can determine more with the photos below, please let me know.

According to the trustee I met, the original white clapboard church is under the church. This structure was built around 1902 after a fire burned down the church.

Powell Chapel School, Georgia

Newman, Coweta County

Built in 1937 by Willie Carlyle, the Powell Chapel School was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The rural school served the local Black community until 1952.

The school is part of the greater property of the Powell United Methodist Church, but it is owned by a group of trustees.

Built initially as the Powell Chapel, the church, cemetery, and school sit on the land that once was a part of the Powell Plantation. The first church building was completed in the 1890s, but it burned in 1907.

The current brick structure was completed in 1920.

The cemetery is contains different areas with headstones. I am uncertain if cemetery is completely full. It is important because it has graves of many freedmen and women.

A James Shelton marker

Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church and School, Georgia

Green Grove Community, Stewart County

Founded in 1886 in a bush arbor, the Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church was named because of the year-round green forest that surrounded the church. Perry Hudson, Louis Cherry, and Isaac Shorter founded the church. By 1898, the church began to host school in the church building. Unfortunately, the church was destroyed by a tornado in 1919.

By 1920, the church was rebuilt on land given by Heddy York. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire a mere four years later. Another church was built and opened by 1927. In 1937, a school built and used by white schoolchildren was no longer used. Known as the Wesley Chapel School, the building was moved and renamed the Green Grove School. It still stands today. The school was used until 1958, when schools were closed for consolidation.

The church is still active. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

Source- Willie Marie Porter’s book A Grateful People: An Historical Account of the Founding of a Community

Rowland Grove School, Georgia

Burke County, Georgia

Founded in 1926 on the corner of Ivanhoe Plantation, this land was donated by Mrs. Clarissa Dye and her son Rowland Dye to start a one-room schoolhouse. They were the direct descendants of Charles Alden Rowland, the founder of Ivanhoe Plantation.

The school was started when Jim Hall, a sharecropper on Ivanhoe Plantation, asked the Dyes about the possibility of getting land to start the school. When it opened, there were no glass windows, just shutters. It had a white steeple roof. Savella Hall, Jim’s wife, was the first teacher for the school.

Like so many schools, the building had other uses. On the weekend, it served as the benevolent society.

Thank you to the Burke County Archives for confirming the identification of the building and sharing the older photo of the school. Information on the school was pulled from Eugenia Mills Fulcher’s 1999 dissertation, “Dreams do come true: How rural one- and two-room schools influenced the lives of African Americans in Burke County, Georgia, 1930-1955.”

Courtesy of the Burke County Archives and the Burke County Department of Education.
Notice the blue door trim. Many would say this is haint blue. If so, this is the first haint blue I’ve seen on a schoolhouse.

Trinity School, Georgia

Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia

Located next to the Trinity CME Church and south of Sparta is the Trinity School. It was used until 1959 to educate Black schoolchildren of the area. Based on the design, this one-room schoolhouse was built before Rosenwald schools were and, likely, before 1910.