Although the last regular service at Springhill Methodist Church in Thomas County, Georgia was held in the 1970’s, it’s still in good shape after a restoration a few years ago. The old church was organized in 1823 and initially used a log building until this one was finished about a decade later. The cemetery on the grounds has about a hundred graves.
When driving through much of Georgia, you’ll regularly find semi-isolated churches. Although most are difficult to uncover much of their history, I added a few of them here, including Cooper Baptist Church at the edge of Twin City, Georgia.
Black Creek Baptist Church is in Screven County, Georgia and was established in 1912 according to a sign near the front entrance. There’s a cemetery behind the church with about 100 graves.
This little church in Screven Couunty didn’t even have a sign with its name out front.
McCanaan Missionary Baptist Church is near Sardis, Gerogia and is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The church served the black sharecroppers that remained in the area after slavery was ended. The church was built in 1912 (replacing two earlier churches built in 1875 and the 1890s) and has some Gothic Revival features. There were some modifications to the exterior in the more recent decades, including the addition of a flat-roof porch. A cemetery was established in the 1930s.
Another small church, Mt. Sinai Holiness is just east of Oliver, Georgia. It was established pretty recently, but it had an authentic look and this brightly painted sign nailed to nearby pine tree, so I stopped for some photos.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church was founded as a mission church for former slaves following the Civil War. The church is in a wooded area not far from the small town of Eastover, South Carolina. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the history of the church explains that black membership in the Episcopal church fell significantly after the Civil War. A wealthy local planter was appointed to try and maintain that membership in the area and so built a chapel (Saul Chapel) on his plantation. Soon after, a Sunday School was started for the local black children. The chapel burned down in 1891 and was rebuilt as St. Thomas in 1893. The church is still in use today and there is a cemetery on the grounds with what looked like mostly recent graves.
It’s believed that St. Paul A.M.E. was built around the turn of the twentieth century, but nobody seems to know for sure. It’s located near Siloam, Georgia and seems to be abandoned now.
A little west of Millen, Georgia on Old Lousville Road I passed this small rural church named Salters Grove Baptist. I took a couple of photos, but there wasn’t any indicator of how long the church has been here. There’s a small cemetery behind the church with a few graves.
Rock Mill Methodist is in Hancock County, Georgia and was originally built near a plantation in the area after the church organized in 1840. In 1894 the church was moved to a new location in Jewell, Georgia across from Jewell Baptist Church (established 1869, built 1870) shown below.
Jennings Baptist in another of many old churches in Taliaferro County, Georgia. Established in 1894, this building was completed in 1904 for the farming population in the area. It’s on Sharon Street about midway between Sharon and Crawfordville and has the traditional men/women entrances. There’s also a small cemetery on the west side of the church.