Historic Rural Churches of Georgia
The Historic Rural Churches of Georgia are located all around the state; I laid out the entire state of Georgia (on a map) as far as where and how many churches are located in each county. It made it much easier for me to see what was nearby and what I could group into short road trips, as I am not familiar with where all the counties are located. I needed the visual assistance. Then I routed out 3 road trips; one was short and I planned on doing it on a weeknight after dinner. I spoke to a friend of mine and she decided she wanted to go with me on these trips too.
Twin Churches Road
We left right before 5:15 pm from Perry. We first drove to Montezuma (Macon County) to see Traveler’s Rest Methodist. Traveler’s Rest Methodist and Traveler’s Rest Baptist are both located on Twin Churches Road. They were often referred to as twin churches. The Baptist Church though has been updated by its membership to a magnificent new building. They might have once been twin churches, but now they are very different and could no way be mistaken for twins. These churches are located right in a large working cemetery.
Traveler’s Rest Methodist
Traveler’s Rest Methodist was in quite disarray. The brush and trees have grown up all around the church and the back of the church has also caved in. The walls are marked with graffiti. Also one of the towers on the front right of the church has fallen down. There is a path that leads down the right side of the church all the way down to a few different graveyard areas. From what I have read, there was a “white” and “black” graveyard located there, but I couldn’t tell enough by what was written on the gravestones to know what was where. There were quite a few that were hidden way back in the brush, so I can only assume that there were even more that I couldn’t see at all.
Traveler’s Rest Methodist originated sometime around 1835. The town of Traveler’s Rest became well known in the 1830s and 40s as a haven for those travelling from Macon to Albany and then down on to the Gulf travelling down near the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. The members of the church included the planters from many miles away. There was talks of Travelers Rest being on the railway, but in 1951, a rail stop was built in Oglethorpe instead. This led to many leaving Traveler’s Rest and the town dwindling away. There are many parts of the history of the Methodist Church’s history that cannot be found. Historic Rural Churches of Georgia lists this church as Almost Gone but not Forgotten. You can read more of its history at their website.
Phillippi Primitive Baptist Church
Next stop was on to Schley County to see Phillippi Primitive Baptist Church. This church is located about a half mile down a dirt road. It has a cemetery that has a chain link fence around it as well. Phillippi Primitive Baptist also originated in 1835, but it is in much better condition that Traveler’s Rest Methodist. This church is also listed as Almost Gone but not Forgotten; however it has much more life left in it when compared to the one at Traveler’s Rest.
Phillippi Primitive Baptist Church’s history is preserved in old church minutes that still exist. According to its history, it was once the largest church in the Upatoi Association with 125 members and 5 ordained elders. The last service was held in November of 1978. Phillippi Baptist surprisingly is in good shape to have been abandoned for over 40 years.
We arrived to Phillipi just as the sun was going down, so had to do some magic with the cameras to get a few photos, but a tripod and long exposures helped to record this historical relic of times past.
If you didn’t see my post from Young’s Chapel Methodist, check it out here!
I have two more day road trips planned for the next two groups of churches. Hopefully will be able to get on the road soon!
Until the next explorations, make sure to see the ordinary as the extraordinary! See the beauty right in front of you!