First Baptist Church (Augusta, Georgia)

First Baptist Church of Augusta is a Southern Baptist church in Augusta, Georgia. The original location is now a historical site. The current church building is located on Walton Way.

First Baptist Church of Augusta
First Baptist Church, Augusta GA 20160703 1.jpg
First Baptist Church (Augusta, Georgia) is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
First Baptist Church (Augusta, Georgia)
First Baptist Church (Augusta, Georgia) is located in the United States
First Baptist Church (Augusta, Georgia)
LocationGreene and 8th Sts., Augusta, Georgia
Coordinates33°28′21″N 81°58′3″W / 33.47250°N 81.96750°W / 33.47250; -81.96750Coordinates: 33°28′21″N 81°58′3″W / 33.47250°N 81.96750°W / 33.47250; -81.96750
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1902
ArchitectDenny, Willis Franklin
Architectural styleBeaux Arts
NRHP reference No.72000397[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 23, 1972

Baptists Praying SocietyEdit

According to the earliest church records, the Baptists Praying Society was established when

In the year 1817, Jesse D. Green, a layman, was active in gathering together the few scattered Baptists in Augusta, and, after holding one or more preliminary meetings, the brethren and sisters, to the number of eighteen, had drawn up and adopted a covenant, to which they affixed their names.[2]

In May 1817, they met in the court house for worship. A few years later in 1820, Rev, Wm. T. Brantly was chosen for the pastoral office, and he undertook erecting a brick house at 802 Greene St., at a cost of $20,000. It was dedicated on May 6, 1821.[2]

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed at a meeting May 1845 in this church, marking the separation between Northern and Southern Baptists before the American Civil War over issues of slavery and governance.[3]

Historical markerEdit

A historical marker was erected in 1956 outside the church by the Georgia Historical Commission (Marker Number 121–29.) It is inscribed as follows:[4]

In March 1817, eight men and two women meeting in an Augusta home formed "The Baptist Praying Society of Augusta" - the forerunner of the First Baptist Church. Two months later the society was constituted a church under the leadership of the first minister, Wm. T. Brantley, this property was purchased in 1870. A church on this site was dedicated May 26, 1821. In 1845, after serious friction arose in the national Triennial Convention, 327 delegates from eight southern states and the District of Columbia met here to form the Southern Baptist Convention. This building was erected in 1902.

Greene Street buildingEdit

In 1975 the congregation moved to a new church on a site in Augusta on Walton Way.[5][6] They sold their former church building to the Southern Baptist Non-Profit Historical Society.[7]

The Southern Baptist Convention erected an identification marker on the grounds in 1984, noting this as the site of the convention's founding. By 2003, the building was owned by the Southern Baptist Restoration Foundation. The Southern Bible Seminary had started using the building to hold classes.

In August of 2020, Joe Edge a local Augusta real estate developer purchased the building with plans to save the structure and redevelop it. The building fell into disrepair in the early 2000's and was abandoned after 2015. Edge purchased the building in 2020 to convert the back portion into office space and to restore the exterior of the building. [5][7]

PastorsEdit

The list of pastors of this church are:[2][8]

  • Wm. T. Brantly (1820–1826)
  • James Shannon (1826–1829)
  • C. D. Mallory (1829–1835)
  • W. J. Hard (1835–1839)
  • Wm T. Brantly, Jr. (1840–1848)
  • N. J. Foster (1849)
  • C. B. Jannett (1849-1851)
  • Dr. J. G. Binney (1852–1855)
  • J. E. Ryerson (1855–1860)
  • Dr. A. J. Huntington (1860–1865)
  • J. H. Cuthbert (1865-1867)
  • James Dixon ( 1869-1874)
  • M. B. Wharton (1875)
  • W. W. Landrum (Feb. 18, 1876- 1882)
  • Dr. Lansing Burrows (1883-1899)
  • Dr. Sparks W. Melton (1900-1909)
  • Dr. M. Ashby Jones (1909-1917)
  • Dr. William Vines (1917-1918)
  • Dr. Edward L. Grace (1919-1927)
  • Dr. Fredrick Smith (1927-1936)
  • Dr. R. Paul Caudill (1937-1944)
  • Dr. A. Warren Huyck (1944-1953)
  • Dr. Robert Jackson Robinson (basketball & Baylor) (1953–1974)
  • Dr. George Balentine (1975-1982)
  • Dr. Charles Bugg (1982-1989)
  • Dr. Timothy Owings (1990-2003)
  • Dr. Greg DeLoach (2005–2015)
  • Dr. Will Dyer (2017-Present)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c William Cathcart (1881). The Baptist Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ The Baptists Heritage, Four Centuries of Baptist Witness, H. Leon McBeth, Broadman Press, 1987
  4. ^ "The First Baptist Church". The Historical Marker Database.
  5. ^ a b "Brief History of this Site where the Seminary meets".
  6. ^ Virginia Norton (October 31, 2003). "Old church shows new signs of life". Augusta Chronicle.
  7. ^ a b Scott Barkley (March 17, 2005). "Georgia group making moves in rebuilding Southern Baptist birthplace". The Christian Index. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013.
  8. ^ "Augusta First Baptist Church of Augusta". National Park Service.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit