St. James Pennington Church, 1927, Andersonville

historic st james pennington church andersonville ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

This church was originally located in the nearby village of Pennington and was donated to Andersonville and was moved here and restored by the Andersonville Guild. It was used by the Reverend James Bolan Lawrence and his congregation until his death. It was designed by Ralph Adams Cram, an architect better known for buildings of a much grander scale. His most famous work is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

16 thoughts on “St. James Pennington Church, 1927, Andersonville

  1. Judith C. Piccirillo

    i was in columbus visiting this past week and my brother, sister-in-law and i went into a humane society thrift store in Pine Mountain – found a sketch – in lower right corner is “Let ’83” – does this mean anything anyone – i love the sketch – pencil or charcoal – took out of frame – left lower corner: st james pennington, old log church, 1927, civil war town, andersonville, georgia
    just curious if anyone has any information about the artist –
    Judy P

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  3. gajoe42

    I visited St. James many times when I was a member of Calvary Episcoplal Church in Americus. I can not pinpoint the time but likely in the 1970’s during the tenure of Father Charles Hay, where I was a member of the parish council and a layreader, we actually held a deconsecration service at St. James long before it was moved to Andersonville. I was told by older members of Calvary that the chapel was built as a summer retreat for the congregation at Calvary. Unfortunately, Calvary Church had few written records. Some mention is made in the parish reports to the annual Diocesan Conventions. My recollection is that the fields around the church were giving way to pine thickets as was so typical of rural areas in the 1960’s and 1970’s, a period that also saw the destruction of many rural houses and barns, and the virtual abandonment of so many rural churches. Though familiar with Ralph Adams Crams having designed the second Calvary Church building, I do not recall any confirmation for the assertion that Cram designed St. James, Pennington.

    Joe Kitchens (

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  5. Hal Lacey


    May want to recheck your dates on the church’s relocation. My grandmother is Ruby Pennington Lacey and we used to have our family reunions at this church in its original location in the early 70’s. I’ve got several pictures of this if you’re interested.

    Thank you,

    Hal Lacey
    Panama City Beach, Florida

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  8. William "Bill" Parsons

    I have a charcoal sketch by my sister done in 1951 that shows a porch. I remember there was a porch, but maybe not as large as the one on it now.
    You are right there is a stone marker where it once stood. That is where Brother James Bolan Lawrence is buried (born 1878 died 1947) also at the site where the stone marker is are the remains of the house that Brother Lawrence was building as his retirement home.

  9. Greg Peterman

    This church was originally off highway 195 south of Andersonville, I remember going there in the early 60’s, It used to be just a square building without the porch design. They changed it when it was moved to Andersonville back in the late 70’s, when Andersonville was being rebuilt as a tourist trap. There is a stone marker at the original location, I saw it there in 2011.

    1. Vicki Justice

      I’m not sure about that. I went there as a youth in the 50’s as we had our family reunions there every year. My grand parents and maternal great grandparents are buried there (Hwy 195) at the original site (now fenced in). There was always a porch (in my time), the remaining underpinnings and porch are still there as is the original chimney (on the ground). I still love to go there and just sit. It’s a shame the log church had to be moved but I understand all the reasons why and it is better off where it sits today.
      Vicki Justice, November 23, 2014

  10. William E. Parsons

    I served under Dr. Lawrence as an acolyte from this church, also at Calvary Episcopal Church in Americus..There is more information that I can give you..Please contact by e-mail
    William “Bill” Parsons

  11. lisajan

    My mom attended a funeral at this church when she was young, and it was in the woods somewhere. The Pennington’s are in our family line, not sure of the connection.

    (By the way, my mom just told me over the phone that you should publish a book. =) )


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