Emmaus Primitive Baptist Church, St. George

Located just south of St. George is this iconic church. The congregation dates to 1858.

The artesian well-fed pump still works.

The privy is one of two on the grounds, as there’s obviously no plumbing. I believe the church must still be used for homecomings and funerals, at least.

The cemetery is nicely kept and is the final resting place of many pioneers of southernmost Georgia.

Many members of Emmaus were Confederate veterans.

Private Henry Gainey, Jr. Company G, 26th Georgia Infantry (1840 – 1864)

Private Gainey was likely killed in action at Spotsylvania, as his grave is marked with a Confederate Iron Cross. Beside his grave is that of another Gainey, probably his brother, who was in the Confederate service in nearby Florida.


12 thoughts on “Emmaus Primitive Baptist Church, St. George

  1. Tabitha Ryan

    I have just moved to this little community… would love to have contact info for whomever is the caretaker of this property to query about possibility of having upcoming nuptials.

    1. Carol Batten May

      I believe this is where my family members are located! They were “Batten”s and would probably have been buried in the 1800s. I believe the mother and father were Isham and Temperance Batten and their community was called Battenville before their postmaster’s son, George, was killed and the name was changed to St. George. I can find no history of Battenville except in my family files and no connections to the family.

    1. John D. Moore

      The is a bullet hole in the pulpit put there in the second Seminole war, I went to church there some when I was 6 and am now 60. I found some stuff on line about it 6 or so years ago. I am a history nut.

  2. John D. Moore

    I have attended services there, I am almost 60. I know there are bullet holes in the pulpit, holes in the floor to spit tobacco, wemon entered on a different side and sat there.

  3. Jesse M. Bookhardt

    Brian, these are great pictures. I love the old Board and Batten style of construction. The method is still used but mostly for barns and out- buildings. The metal hand water pump was a common item found adjacent to most farm houses and rural churches. They can still be found but are uncommon. Designed for shallow wells, they often had a problem with remaining primed. The gasket on the plunger was made of leather and would sooner or later give way to friction and age. Next to the pump, most farmers had a quart jar of water reserved just for priming, if the pump would not stay charged in between pumpings. There are few things more frustrating than an old cast iron hand pump that can’t be primed. It is like a lawn mower that won’t crank.

  4. Tom Robinson

    Good capture of church, and grounds – and some background, too, Brian. You find so-many out-of-the-way structures, which – at one time – were right in the middle of daily life-traffic. Thanks for your work, and passion.

  5. ghodges2@windstream.net

    My gg-uncles were in the 26th Georgia, Co. K from Clinch Co. I used to pass this church on my way to go red breast bream fishing in the St. Mary’s River…….Glenn Hodges


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