Due to the growth of the Salzburger settlement at Ebenezer by the 1740s, a need arose for new churches to serve a dispersed population. Goshen Church was built about 1751, established about a mile from the present location as Goshen Lutheran Church. Oral tradition states that when a malaria outbreak threatened the health and lives of Goshen’s congregants, they sawed the church in half and moved it to this site, where they rebuilt it. Goshen remained part of the Ebenezer Parish until after the American Revolution. Goshen had always been served by Lutheran pastors who preached in German, and because of the language barrier, Pastor Bergman invited Bishop Asbury to send Methodist preachers to reach the congregation. Moravian missionaries used the church as a meetinghouse after the Lutherans moved on.
In 1820, Reverend James O. Andrew established the Methodist congregation at Goshen and the Lutherans transferred the property a few years later. The Reverend Lewis Myers began his pastorate circa 1823 and served the church for many years.
Goshen was a town long before Rincon existed and was the site of the first post office in Effingham County. Local lore maintains the George Washington once visited the church trading post.
The earliest identified burials in Goshen Cemetery date to around the time the Methodists assumed ownership of the church and it is the final resting place of many Effingham County pioneers. The following monuments and headstones are presented randomly and I photographed them as much for their aesthetic appeal as their historical importance.
A brick enclosure, perhaps built by enslaved men, surrounds the gravesites of many members of the Gugel family, who were prominent members of the church and community.
Tomb of Hannah Gugel Nowlan (January 1791-10 September 1833) The slab reads: To the memory of Mrs. Hannah Nowlen Who departed this life Sept 10th 1833 Aged 42 years and 9 months
Can marble tell the worth of Spirit felt Where dust here mingles with its kindred dead: Say there – the faithful friend in silence rests. The Mother whose fond heart was tenderness. The Child whose filial joy of filial love
Now draw the parents hears to realms above, The sister loving constant, true, sincere The Christian meek to Zion precious one
Here rests in Hope
Mrs. Nowlan was the wife of George Galphin Nowlan, 1787-1816, Colonel in the War of 1812. Colonel Nowlan is buried in Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville.
The tomb is signed by Savannah stonemasons Maxwell & Gow.
Margaret Waldhaur Gugel (8 April 1762-28 September 1844) and David Gugel (21 January 1764-24 April 1842) were the parents of Hannah Nowlan. David Gugel was a private and fifer in the Georgia Militia, enlisted in 1782. He served under General Anthony Wayne, helped build bridges and guard the Ebenezer magazine and the stores at Zubly’s Ferry.
Mary Ann Gugel Olcott (1797-24 January 1822) Mrs. Olcott was also a daughter of Margaret and David Gugel. She was married to Reverend James S. Olcott. The headstone indicates that two of her babies are buried here, as well.
Detail of headstone of Elizabeth Gugel Charlton (13 February 1793-11 July 1869) Mrs. Charlton was also a daughter of Margaret and David Gugel.
William Bandy (24 October 1799-24 May 1825) and Mary Bandy (16 October 1795-16 October 1825)
Tree of Life tympanum of Sarah Ann Black Zittrouer (14 December 1830-20 December 1899)
Tree of Life tympanum of William Josiah Zittrouer (10 September 1820-4 March 1895). Mr. Zittrouer was a Confederate veteran.
Cast iron boundary marker, Exley lot.
Bessie Margaret Exley (1892-1896)