Tag Archives: Baptist Church

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.

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.

Reid’s Chapel Baptist Church and Cemetery, Georgia

Willard, Putnam County

I am unable to locate much information on the church. The cemetery is active with burials as recent as 2021. The names on most of the headstones were some version of Clements, Clemons, and Clemmons. Several of the headstones had impressions on the back of the headstones.

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.

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

Charles Oatman and the Flat Rock Missionary Baptist Church, Georgia

Matthews, Jefferson County

Charles Oatman was an Augusta teenager who was brutalized and murdered while he was in jail. His death spawned a multi-day protest where protesters demanded answers. Six men lost their lives, 60 were wounded, and property damage was significant. All men were unarmed and shot in the back by police officers.

It is impossible for me to succinctly describe the events of the 1970 Augusta Riot. For website reading, I would suggest the The 1970 Augusta Riot Observance Committee site. For a great podcast, I would recommend GPB’s Shots in the Back.

Charles is buried in the Flat Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Matthews, Georgia. Several generations of his family rest here.

McCullough Covenant Baptist Church, Georgia

Burke County

McCullough Covenant Baptist Church was founded May 14, 1876 (the second Sunday in May) when Adam and Henrietta McCullough, a freed husband and wife, donated land to start the church on the spot they considered the most beautiful on their land. Many parishioners came from Pine Hill Baptist Church (still an active congregation).

Mr. McCullough owned at least 900 acres of land by the time he passed. From what I can pull together via Ancestry.com records, he and his first wife, Henrietta, were born in the 1820s. From later census records, the McCulloughs had at least four children (Delilah, Jonah, Mahala, and Cornelious).

Based on their ages, I believe that they were all born into slavery. I am unable to confirm, but I believe they were likely enslaved by Calvin McCullough, a planter from Burke County. According to the 1860 Slave Census, Calvin McCullough enslaved 36 people. There are no other McCulloughs in Burke County in the 1860 slave census. Ages and sex match up closely with the ages and sexes of the McCullough family.

According to information shared on findagrave, the family also has ties to Gray’s Grove Baptist Church.

Adam McCullough (1824-1909)
Adam’s first wife, Henrietta (1824-1896)
Henrietta and Adam’s son Cornelious (1850-1900)
Jessie Bell McCullough (1921-1970)
Square R. Heney (1872-1918)