Tag Archives: Churches of Putnam County GA

Friendship Baptist Church, 1904, Eatonton

I’ve only been able to determine that the congregation at Friendship Baptist was established in the 1890s and the church was built in 1904. Apparently, it has been abandoned, but well-maintained, for quite some time. The surrounding area, just south of Eatonton proper, was once known as Warfield.

Harmony Baptist Church, 1927, Putnam County

This church has a long and varied history, best detailed on the marker placed by the church and the Eatonton-Putnam Historical Society in 2001: August 29, 1807, marks the constitution date of the church, originally named Salem Baptist Church, and located on the west bank of the Oconee River on land now in Morgan Co., across the river from the Salem Community in Greene Co. Shortly before July 14, 1821, the church officers were ordered to sell the original building site and the church constitution moved to Kingston District in Morgan Co. and renamed Concord at Kingston. On Oct. 25, 1828, the church moved again, renamed Harmony, to a site offered by T. J. Davis located across the road from the present Jefferson Baptist Church. After Davis’ death clear title could not be obtained and the fourth and present site was bought April 30, 1844 from William S. Scott for $25.00. The fourth building, dedicated in April 1855, after construction costs were turned in by William Rowell Paschal in Nov. 1854, served the congregation until destroyed by fire in March 1926. The fifth building was completed in 1927. No minutes exist before Saturday, June 5, 1819, but are complete fro that date on. They tell a poignant story of dedicated and faithful members who have kept the church alive while surviving pioneer hardships, schisms over missions, the loss of members to newer lands opening to the west, the Civil War and segregation and reconstruction, economic uncertainties, national depression and migration to the cities. Many outstanding ministers including the first, John Dingler (1807), Richard Pace (1824-1837), and Asa Monroe Marshall (1860-1912) who served Harmony, Eatonton, and Ramoth for over 50 years, have stood in the pulpit here. Pioneer families associated with this church include Alford, Alliston, Batchelor, Boatright, Bryant, Cogburn, Davis, Denham, Ingram, Kilpatrick, Kimbrough, Little, Marshall, Mason, Nelson, Newman, Pace, Paschal, Reese, Scott, Tuggle, Wallace, Walton, Weaver, Wynn, Zachary and many others who lie buried in its historic cemetery.

Pierce Chapel Methodist Church, 1903, Putnam County

This congregation was established in 1899 and the present church building was completed in 1903. It is also referred to as Pierce’s Chapel.

Jones Grove Baptist Church, Putnam County

Jones Grove is an historic Black church located in the northeastern section of Putnam County.

The old baptismal is quite large and still in good condition, though it doesn’t appear to be in use.

Union Chapel United Methodist Church, Circa 1858, & Union Chapel School, 1913

This vernacular Greek Revival church is among the oldest in Putnam County, and was built on land originally owned by the same man who owned the nearby Rock Eagle site. The historical marker placed by the congregation and the Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society in 2001 gives a detailed history: On April 24, 1855, Irby Hudson Scott deeded to the trustees of a new newly organized and consolidated Methodist Episcopal group, three and three-quarter acres of land in the Tompkins District in Putnam County, Georgia. A church building was to be erected on the land. There had been a small church on nearby land owned by the Hearn family named Bethel Church. There was also a small church named Rock Chapel on what used to be known as “the ridge road,” and now called the Uncle Remus U.S. Highway 441. Because the membership of each of the two churches was small, they united into one larger congregation and built a house of worship on the land offered for the purpose by Mr. Scott. These early members built well and today the building is still in excellent condition. No one now living knows where the lumber was milled but it is all the very best heart pine lumber, nowhere to be found today. The sills and framework are hand-hewn and pinned. The doors and triple-sash windows are said to have been made in Augusta, Georgia, and hauled overland to the building site. The lumber used to make the pews and the door and window facing was all hand planed. The pulpit Bible was presented in 1855 and the first pastor was the Rev. Henry Morton. As early as 1867, there was a Sunday school at Union Chapel. Mr. Cullen S. Credille was superintendent of the male members and Mrs. Mary Scott was superintendent of the female members. Many years ago the orientation of the interior was changed with the pulpit and pews being reversed. Originally, the pulpit was before the high windows between the two front doors, and was mounted by steps. A new pulpit and communion rail was installed at the opposite end of the building and a center door was removed and the opening closed.

The adjacent schoolhouse is a landmark, as well. More history from the marker notes: On August 13, 1913, a delegation of 25 gentlemen from the Reid’s Crossroad community went before the Putnam County Board of Education and requested that a better school be built in the area. The board voted to build a school at Union Chapel. The builder was Mr. Robert E. Vining and the school opened in November 1913 and was in continuous operation until county school consolidation forced its closure on May 25, 1946. The school’s first teacher was Miss Fannie Mae Jones. It has been used since as Sunday school space by the church. For generations United Chapel Church and school have been important parts of this community.

Henderson Grove Baptist Church, Putnam County

This historic Black church is located near the Rock Eagle 4-H Center.

Mt. Ararat Methodist Church, 1870s, Dennis Station

The congregation of Mt. Ararat Methodist Church was organized in 1824. The sign on the church notes that the church was built in 1824, but a marker at the entrance to the cemetery notes that the church was destroyed by Sherman’s army in the winter of 1864. It’s possible that elements of the old structure were incorporated into the present structure.

The vernacular Greek Revival form was very common in 19th century Georgia.

Reid’s Chapel Baptist Church, Putnam County

Located near the Willard community, Reid’s Chapel Baptist Church is an historic Black congregation. No history is readily available, but the earliest burials I located in the small adjacent cemetery date to circa 1920.

St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1897, Rockville

St. Paul Methodist Church was originally known as Enterprise. They worshiped a few miles away in a church built in 1871 by William and Kinchon Little and assumed the name of St. Paul in 1879. In 1897, they merged with another church in the area, New Hope, and built this structure adjacent to Rockville Academy. The land was donated by Professor F. G. Branch, principal of the academy, and the land was chosen because it was halfway between the old St. Paul Church and New Hope Church.

Rockville Academy and St. Paul Methodist Church Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Concord United Methodist Church, Circa 1870, Putnam County

William B. Pritchard and Thomas Johnston built a log church known as Victory in 1810, on the Milledgeville-Athens stagecoach road. The congregation changed its name to Concord in 1812. It was the first Methodist church west of the Oconee River. I have been unable to locate a date for the construction of the present structure.