This church doesn’t appear to be in use. I hope someone can identify it.
This is one of three congregations located within a few hundred yards of each other in the Queensland community. I hope to share more history soon.
As I’ve noted before, the Queensland community in northern Ben Hill County was settled before the county seat of Fitzgerald.
The church dates to the early 1880s at the latest, a typical foundational time for churches in Freedmen’s communities.
The church is one of the most historic and perhaps the most significant surviving African-American religious structure in Ben Hill County. It is well maintained.
The stained glass windows and the steeple are distinguishing architectural features of the church.
Mountaintop Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery
The earliest known burials at Mountaintop date to the early 1880s, which is typical of churches established in the first generation after Emancipation. These are representational and not meant to be complete.
Deacon Coffee was the Treasurer of the Ocmulgee Baptist Association, with which Mountaintop was affiliated at the time.
Lonnie Brown was one of the leaders of the Queensland community throughout his life and one of the main roads in the neighborhood bears his name today.
Sturgeon Creek is among the oldest congregations in Ben Hill County, organized in 1885. It was formally constituted in 1888 on land donated by area pioneer Jacob Dorminey (25 October 1837-20 November 1910) and his wife Susan Hunter Dorminey. It remains one of the most beautiful churches and churchyards in the county.
Mount Cavalry Baptist Church is an historic African-American congregation in Ben Hill County and has an equally historic cemetery. Many members of this venerable church served our nation in the armed services, with veterans of both world wars, Korea, and Vietnam among them.
The following photographs from the cemetery are presented in no particular order.
West Point Baptist Church is an historic African-American congregation in the Westwood community of Fitzgerald. Westwood was populated by skilled African-American machinists, most of whom worked in the nearby Atlantic Coast Line Railroad shops. It’s interesting that the establishment of the church predates the settlement of Fitzgerald and the location of the railroad by nearly 20 years. The present structure was built in 1972.
The church, which is the center of the Westwood community today, recently lost its well-loved and long serving pastor, Reverend Willie B. Pride (1938-2020).