Tag Archives: Jefferson County

Unidentified Church, Georgia

Jefferson County

This could also be a school.

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.

Lofton AME Church-Wrens, Georgia

Jefferson County

The establishment of the Lofton Circuit started with the organization of Lofton Church in 1840. The building was constructed in 1879. It was first united with Thompson Springhill AME Church in Matthews, Georgia.

In 1874, Springfield began conducting services under a brush harbor. It was given the name Stone Springfield. In 1905, their church was built.

Sandvalley or Sand Valley AME Church was built in 1892 under the leadership of Rev. J.H. Hillis. It was originally called Old Bethel AME Church.

Around 1896 the three churches were joined to form a circuit. Since Lofton AME was the oldest of the three churches, this union was named the Lofton Circuit.

Farm Church-Jefferson County, Georgia

This church sits in the middle of a field on what appears to be an active farm. Just on the edge of the photo is part of the home. Tax records indicate the home was built in 1895. The records list many barns and sheds but no church. This might be the fanciest barn I have ever photographed. It’s been determined by reviewing old aerial photographs that this church was moved to this farm.