Benevolence Baptist Church, 1906, Randolph County


Though the present church building dates to 1906, Benevolence Baptist Church was constituted on 16 May 1840; it succeeded nearby Walnut Grove Baptist Church (known as Mt. Paran when organized with nine members in November 1831). In 1840, Missionary Baptists accepted five acres of land from Thomas Coram, first settler of this area, with the intention of forming a separate church. For this generosity, Abner Ward suggested the name Benevolence for church and community. Members hauled lumber from Dawson and built the first church building, dedicated 17 May 1842, with Reverend James Matthews, Pastor, and A.M. Albritton, Clerk. First deacons were James Sherman and John Winfrey. Other early clerks were David Holman, Abner, E. H. Keese and G. W. King.


An Act of Benevolence, a play by Anna Kirsten Beard and Karan Pittman detailing the lives of the church’s pioneer members, provides historical and genealogical information. I’ve abridged it here as a list of these early settlers: Reverend James Matthews; Isaac Osteen; Simon D. & America Jane McLendon; John & Nancy Winfrey; Samuel, Edith & Mary Sherman; John M. Frazier; Ansel & Ann Crawford Albritton; Eleanor Collins; Mary Walker; Isabella Wamble; Sarah Stapleton; Thomas Coram.






7 thoughts on “Benevolence Baptist Church, 1906, Randolph County

  1. Miss Baldwin

    Hello i just want to say thank you. Mr Brain for writing and showing photo of. Church and the Reddick store i grew up in Benevolence. Georgia when. To that store every day after school and went to church every sunday i think you for writing about it. Cause everything. About it is a landmark. May God Bless you always. bring love and joy in your life. Be safe. Miss Deborah

  2. Diane Keese Stinnett

    Will there be a homecoming in 2021. My father was Lawrence R, Keese , born 1926 in Benevolaance. I am just starting to research family history.

  3. Maria Ward

    The Homecoming Committee is planning another reunion for Memorial Day weekend in 2014. On May 25, 2014, a special service is planned at 11:00 AM. After the service, a lunch will be served. Tables will be provided for opportunities to visit, to catch up on family and community news, and to meet new relatives and friends.
    The Genealogy Room will have at least one copier for your use. We are hoping to have a scanner in place for pictures. Please feel free to bring any family records that you want to share with the church and the community. You can also copy any records that may already be in the church. The Genealogy Room has received a copy of Lillian Henderson’s Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia.
    Because Benevolence Baptist Church is part of the local history of Benevolence, the Homecoming Committee would like to invite all who have ancestors and other family members who attended this Church to come to the Homecoming. Anyone who has family who has lived in Benevolence is encouraged to attend.
    RSVP for lunch by May 10th at

  4. Maria Ward

    The Benevolence Baptist Church Homecoming will be held on May 26, 2013. A special service is planned at 11:00 AM. After the service, a lunch will be served. Tables will be provided for opportunities to visit, to catch up on family and community news, and meet new relatives and friends. Tim White will be signing his books, An Angel in Sunday School and Both Sides of the River. The Pachitla Pickers have been working on some new arrangements for this Homecoming, and they will play around 1:00. Please RSVP by e-mail at

  5. Chip

    Hi Brian. I grew up in Benevolence. I went to Sunday school in this church. Across the street was Reddick’s Store, which has been moved to the bypass south of Cuthbert. Thanks for featuring the church. It is a fine hidden treasure. Benevolence was once larger than Cuthbert and would probably have remained so had there not been a fire that destroyed the entire downtown. I think that happened in 1800s.

      1. Bob Ball

        The Benevolence store was originally built and owned by Samuel Stith Parham who lived across the road in the house presently owned by Phillip Shaw. Jimmy Reddick later owned the store. S.S. Parham was my G-grandfather

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