Tag Archives: Abbeville GA

New Hope Primitive Baptist Church, Wilcox County

Old New Hope Primitive Baptist Church Birthplace of the Missionary Baptists Wilcox County Birth of the Primitive Baptist Movement Near Abbeville Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Though this building (located behind a more modern church home) has long been in disuse, it represents an important development in Baptist history. It is not the first New Hope Church building, whose congregation is described in the Georgia historic marker text seen below, but it’s part of the story.

New Hope Primitive Baptist Church was constituted in July 1830. The presbytery officiating were: Wilson Conner, David Wood and Jordan Baker. Minutes of the church for the first 12 years were lost, and there is no record of charter members, but the church roll of March 5, 1842, lists 53, many of them pioneers of this section. It was at New Hope Church that the division in the Primitive Baptist denomination occurred, when some withdrew and formed a Missionary Baptist Church.* The Rev. Richard M. Tucker was the first recorded pastor, in 1842. George R. Reid was clerk in 1842.

I’ve recently learned that this structure is scheduled to be demolished. I am unsure to the date of its construction, but judging the architecture, I’d guess it’s circa 1880-1910. Having photographed it for over five years, I must say that there is no saving it, and there’s no other solution, but I wanted to bring attention to this historic congregation.

*Liberty Baptist Church in Brooks County is among the earliest Missionary churches still in existence, dating to 1841, and though contemporary to the rift outlined here, was part of a larger fringe movement of Mission work and Sunday schools seen as too “newfangled” by most traditional Baptists of the day.

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Ocmulgee Fins, Feathers & Furs, Abbeville

abbeville ga ocmulgee fins feathers furs photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

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T. F. Sapp Grocery, Abbeville

abbeville ga t f sapp grocery photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

This old mural for T. F. Sapp is one of several important historic survivors in Abbeville. I hope an attempt is made to preserve it. It likely featured a Coca-Cola advertisement at one time.

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Wilcox County Courthouse, 1903, Abbeville

wilcox county ga courthouse abbeville photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

Abbeville, best known for its annual Wild Hog Festival, is also home to one of the most beautiful Neoclassical Revival courthouses in the state, designed by Frank P. Milburn. Two more architecturally significant public buildings, a college and jail, were once located in Abbeville but are long gone.

wilcox county courthouse abbeville ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

National Register of Historic Places

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