Tag Archives: Churches of Richmond County GA

Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1926, Augusta

German-speaking Augustans first organized a Lutheran congregation, Saint Matthew’s, in the 1850s and their 1860 house of worship still stands at another location, home today to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. A congregation catering to English-speaking members, Holy Trinity English Lutheran Church, was established in the 1880s. The two merged in the early 1920s as the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection and built this limestone-clad sanctuary between 1925-1926.

Local architects Philander P. Scroggs (1888-1960) and Whitley L. Ewing (1888-1953) designed the church in the Gothic style. Their firm built numerous structures in early 20th-century Augusta.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Old First Baptist Church, 1902, Augusta

The Baptists organized in Augusta around 1817 and built their first church home at this site in 1821. In that structure, the Southern Baptist Convention was established in 1845. This structure, designed by architect Willis Franklin Denny and built in 1902, served the congregation until 1975. It has been home to other churches over the years.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Union Baptist Parsonage, Circa 1870, Augusta

This was built by the Greene Street Methodist Church circa 1870 as a school for Black children and a parsonage. It also served the Union Baptist Church as a parsonage and was later used as a rental property.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Union Baptist Church, 1851 & 1888, Augusta

The original section of this structure, dating to circa 1851, served as a mission of the Presbyterian Church, and though that congregation was not successful, the location was used as a Sunday School for enslaved Blacks during the Civil War. It later served as the Greene Street Methodist church before it became the Union Baptist Church in 1883. The Augusta architectural firm of MacMurphy & Story created the exquisite structure seen today in 1888. The Society of Architectural Historians considers it “one of the finest Carpenter Gothic buildings in the state” and I concur. Historic Augusta, Inc., restored the structure for the congregation between 1997-2010.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Trumpet in Zion Church, Augusta

I can’t locate a history of this structure, but it is now home to the Trumpet in Zion Fellowship.

Laney-Walker North Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1914, Augusta

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that Tabernacle Baptist Church is one of the most beautiful and unique religious facilities in all of Augusta. Situated on the city’s historic “Black Main Street”, Laney-Walker Boulevard, it is an imposing presence in the community. It grew out of the divided congregation of Central African Baptist Church and was first known as Beulah, but, at the request of founding pastor Reverend Charles Thomas Walker (5 February 1858-29 July 1921) changed its name to Tabernacle just two days later. Its membership grew from an initial 300 to over 2000 by 1889. Its original location was Ellis Street; the present structure dates to 1914.

The church prospered during the pastorate of Reverend Walker and garnered international attention and support from men as diverse as President William Howard Taft [a frequent visitor to Augusta], John D. Rockefeller, Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver, who all attended services at Tabernacle. Reverend Walker, who was born into slavery at Hephzibah, was the first African-American theologian to visit the Holy Land, was appointed by President McKinley as the U. S. Volunteers Chaplain with the U. S. 9th Immune Infantry during the Spanish-American War, with the rank of Captain, and during a residency at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in New York, established the first African-American YMCA in Harlem. He also established the Walker Baptist Institute and served in numerous leadership roles within the Baptist faith.

During the pastorate of Reverend Charles Spencer Hamilton, Tabernacle became a center for the Civil Rights Movement in Augusta. In April 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preached here. The church remains prominent in Augusta’s religious and cultural life.

Laney-Walker North Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Berlin Methodist Church, 1877, McBean

This historic congregation dates to 1827.

Bath Presbyterian Church, 1836, Richmond County

Founded around 1784 by Augustans retreating from rampant malaria in the city, Bath got its name from the mineral springs found nearby. John Trowbridge, among the most active members of the congregation in the early 19th century built most of the homes around Bath, as well as the present sanctuary. A small but historic cemetery behind the churchyard is the final resting place of many Richmond County pioneers.

National Register of Historic Places

 

Blythe Baptist Church, Richmond County

The congregation was established in 1876.

Hephzibah United Methodist Church, 1853, Richmond County

Organized in 1852, the Brothersville Methodist Church was built in 1853 and dedicated in 1854 by Bishop George Pierce. It was moved to its present location in 1890 and renamed Hephzibah Methodist.