Driving the back roads of Long County the other day, I came across this gem and soon met Mr. Worthy, the landowner. He explained that this was an original praise house and that it was at least 80 years old. [This particular area has a long history of Black farmers and in earlier times, there was a large turpentine operation in the area. This likely explains its remote presence here]. To my knowledge, it’s the only surviving praise house in Long County.
Praise houses were tiny shelters used by Geechee-Gullah, and other African-Americans, for worship and as community gathering places. They are the rarest examples of religious architecture in Georgia, with just a few surviving in the coastal region.
The sign, reading “Thee Body of Christ”, is what initially got my attention.
Mr. Worthy noted that the sign, and other work in the yard, was done by his wife, Shelly Worthy.
Mrs. Worthy also created this small chapel as a place of worship and reflection.
Her inspired handiwork can be seen all over the property.
It is a fascinating place and an important example of a passion for history and a passion for faith coming together to protect a resource of great significance.