Tag Archives: Churches of Stewart County GA

Wesley Chapel Methodist Church, 1890, & Cemetery, Circa 1840, Beatrice

The only information I’ve been able to locate on the history of Wesley Chapel, located in the forgotten community of Beatrice, is that it was established in 1838.

That date comes from the old South Georgia Conference-provided sign at the front of the church. The sign is of a type used by the conference in the 1930s-1940s or thereabouts.

An architectural survey dates the present structure to 1890. The stained glass windows appear to be later additions.

Perhaps as interesting as the church itself is the historic cemetery which lies adjacent to the structure. The earliest burials I noted dated to the early 1840s. The cemetery affords excellent views of the surrounding countryside and is characterized by two large enclosures made of local stone. They are great examples of early vernacular funerary architecture.

The shady respite of the Sims Plot is enclosed by a local stone fence, abundant with Resurrection Fern.

The Sims family were early members of the Wesley Chapel congregation.
Sarah P. Sims [22 October 1827-8 June 1845]
Elizabeth S. Sims [14 November 1846-3 February 1859]
Martha A. Seabrook Sims [2 February 1814-25 October 1854]

The plot of pioneer Thomas Turner House [18 April 1787-14 June 1851] & Elizabeth Young House [20 Jun 1787-5 December 1863] and family is made of local red stone and is a massive enclosure.

A gate once guarded the plot but is long gone.

The fence was well built and has survived largely intact, though this section has collapsed. It is likely descendants have made repairs over the years.

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Bethel A. M. E. Church, Stewart County

This historic African-American congregation is located near Kimbrough, just inside the Stewart County line.

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Louvale Church Row, Stewart County

Louvale Church Row Historic Marker Stewart County GA Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

As you’ll see in the following posts, Louvale’s Church Row (a National Register Historic Site) is one of the most historic and unique religious landmarks in Georgia. The marker placed by the Chattahoochee Historical Commission and the people of Louvale in 1986 reads: Originally Antioch, the town developing at the terminus of the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery (Little SAM) Railroad, was renamed Louvale in 1886. Antioch Primitive Baptist Church, founded 1832 in Pleasant Valley, moved to Moccasin Gap 1842 and here 1851. Present church was erected c. 1885 to replace original log structure. Marvin Methodist Church, founded 1830 in Green Hill moved here 1900 when present building was erected. New Hope Baptist Church constituted 1860 two miles from here moved to present building in 1901.

Louvale Church Row Stewart County GA Marvin Methodist Church 1900 New Hope Baptist Church 1901 Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Marvin Methodist Church  & New Hope Baptist Church © Brian Brown 2013

Louvale Church Row Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Antioch Primitive Baptist Church, 1885, Louvale

Antioch Primitive Baptist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Church Row Architectural Cultural Landmark Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Antioch Primitive Baptist began in 1832 in Spring Valley, moved to Moccasin Gap in 1842 and finally settled here in 1851. A log cabin was used for services, as well as the Institute next door, until this structure was built in 1885.

Antioch Primitive Baptist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Sanctuary Interior Recessed Pulpit Organ Piano Straight Back Pews Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Louvale Church Row Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

 

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Antioch Institute, 1850s, Louvale

Antioch Institute School Primitive Baptist Church Louvale GA 1850s Antebellum Architecture Landmark Community House Picture Image Photograph Copyrigh © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

At first glance it’s not as imposing as the other three structures on Louvale’s wonderful Church Row, but the Antioch Institute is the most historic of the lot. Antebellum school buildings are rare in South Georgia. It was built in the 1850s and operated by the Antioch Primitive Baptist Church until 1895. It is believed to have also been used as the church until the structure to the south was built in 1885. Today it serves as the Louvale Community House and is the home of the Sybil and John B. Richardson School of Sacred Harp Singing.

Antioch Institute School Primitive Baptist Church Louvale GA Interior Community House Richardson School of Shape Note Singing Picture Image Photograph Copyrigh © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The historic marker, placed by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Antioch Primitive Baptist Church in 1986 reads: Built in the 1850s, the school was operated by the Antioch Primitive Baptist Church until it was sold to Stewart County in 1895. The building is believed to have been used for church services until the handsome building to the south was erected for that purpose about 1885. The county operated the Louvale High School here until 1928 when the upper grades were transferred to Lumpkin. The elementary school remained until 1942. The school is now used as the Louvale Community House which serves as the home for the Sybil and John B. Richardson School of Sacred Harp Singing.

Louvale Church Row Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Marvin Methodist Church, 1900, Louvale

Marvin Methodist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Church Row Architectural Landmark Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Founded in Green Hill in 1830, Marvin Methodist moved to Louvale in 1900 when the present structure was built.

Marvin Methodist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Church Row Architectural Landmark Interior Sanctuary Wooden Pews with Cushions Picture Image Photograph Copyright ©Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Like New Hope Baptist next door, Marvin Methodist has pillows on the pews.

Marvin Methodist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Church Row Architectural Landmark Interior Sanctuary Pulpit Curved Altar Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The pulpit features a beautiful curved altar.

Marvin Methodist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Church Row Architectural Landmark Interior Sanctuary Wooden Pews Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Louvale Church Row Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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New Hope Baptist Church, 1901, Louvale

New Hope Baptist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Church Row Active Congregation Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Constituted in 1860, two miles from this location, New Hope built the present church in 1901. It’s still an active congregation today and members keep it comfortable with cushions and pillows on the old pews.

New Hope Baptist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Sanctuary Interior Pews with Cushions Pillows Goldenrod Yellow Walls Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The church is very well-maintained; I really liked the yellow walls.

New Hope Baptist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Sanctuary Interior Pulpit Wainscoating Beadboard Walls Goldenrod Yellow Flags Piano Space Heater Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Though it’s a small congregation, it’s very aware of its history and importance in the area.

New Hope Baptist Church Louvale GA Stewart County Sanctuary Interior Attendance and Offering Chart Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Louvale Church Row Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Omaha Baptist Church, 1914, Stewart County

Omaha GA Omaha Baptist Church Gothic Revival Architecture Reconstruction after 1913 Tornado Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Though the congregation was established in the late 1800s, the present structure was built in 1914 as a replacement to the original, which was destroyed by a tornado in 1913.

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Allen Chapel Community Church, Stewart County

Allen Chapel Community Church Stewart County GA Vernaular Architecture Vinyl Siding Short Steeple Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

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Providence Methodist Church, 1859, Stewart County

historic-providence-methodist-church-stewart-county-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

I’ve always found this simple old church  at Providence Canyon to be fascinating. According to the historic marker placed by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Stewart County Historical Society in 1980: Providence Church, when first organized, 1832-33, was a log building on the south side of the road. Two acres were donated by David Lowe for a church and school (Providence Academy). This land is now between two of the canyons. The present building was built in 1859, on the north side of the Old Lumpkin-Florence Road. Many Stewart County pioneer families are in the cemetery. Charter members were Goodes, Lowes, Worthingtons, Perkins, Kirkpatricks, Seays, Pitts, Adams, Shermans, and Pattersons.

historic providence methodist church stewart county ga interior photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

On my last visit (2013) I was appalled at the horrible condition of the cemetery. This is on state park land (or at least accessible only via the state park road at which an entrance fee is collected) and an absolute mess. It’s one of the oldest cemeteries in this section of the state and deserves better.

historic-providence-methodist-cemetery-walton-plot-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

Samuel B. Walton (23 June 1815 – 29 March 1875) Matilda E. Walton (28 September 1819 – 7 January 1894)

historic-providence-methodist-cemetery-mcginty-headstone-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

Headstone of R. C. C. McGinty (b. 1820)

historic-providence-methodist-cemetery-yelverton-family-plot-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2011

Yelverton Famiy Plot Penelope Yelverton (1 February 1794 – 25 May 1884?) Moses C. Yelverton (27 January 1822 – 27 May 1887) Wright Yelvington (Company E, 31st Regiment, Georgia Infantry – No Dates) The misspelling on the veteran’s headstone is an error.

 

 

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