Burke County freedmen organized Haven Academy in 1868 and after operating the school and church in a more utilitarian structure for 20 years, laid the cornerstone for this structure in 1888.
The church was completed and held its first services in 1891. It was originally known as Haven Memorial. Reverend James Jackson was the pastor at the time and Reverend John Watts and A. H. Williams were instrumental in getting the church built. It’s an important example of early formal architecture in the Georgia African-American community.
Despite the positive attention brought to it by a National Register designation in 1996, it remains highly endangered.
UPDATE: At 2:00 yesterday (16 September 2017) Sarah Barber sent me a message that this church was on fire. Rob White confirms: This Waynesboro icon burned and was completely destroyed on September 16, 2017. There are now only 2 sites in Waynesboro on the National Historic Register. I was very concerned about the future of this structure the last time I saw it and now the worst possible end has come to it. The Augusta Chronicle reports that it was a case of arson.
Waynesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places