There are four historic, rural churches in Sumter County, Georgia according to www.hrcga.org website.
Friendship Baptist, built in 1857 and located in northwestern Sumter County, is the oldest standing church in the county. There is also a schoolhouse on the property.
St Marks Lutheran
There are very few Lutheran churches in rural Georgia. St Marks Lutheran originated in the 1860s by German immigrants who moved here from South Carolina. The church was built in 1870 in the community of Botsford, located about five miles west of Plains. Since then, there has been a private restoration and the church has been moved and restored in 2010 by Ernie Culpepper.
New Lebanon Baptist
It is considered almost gone but not forgotten. It is is sad disrepair and looters have made it worse off than it would have been had it just been impacted by the elements. There is not much history known on this church. It was thought to be an African American church. The only elements that even tell that it was a church was the cross that is still standing on the steeple and a small sign that was still laying on the floor that read “Read Bible Daily”. Other than that there are obscenities all over the decaying walls.
Plains First Baptist Church
Now this church is a stunner! Just an absolute beauty; the stained glass is phenomenal! This church did not begin where it is or as its current name. Lebanon Baptist church originated in 1848. This was the third building that was built for the church and it was finished in 1906. In 1909 the name was changed to Plains First Baptist Church to reflect the church’s final resting place.
While you are near downtown Plains (a few blocks away from the First Baptist Church), you need to take a short visit. There are some antique shops, a cafe and Bobby Salter’s Plain Peanuts and General Store that you can get the best peanut ice cream. If you haven’t had the ice cream, it is a must try (as long as you don’t have any allergies to nuts).
The downtown is very quaint and has some murals you can visit. There is also Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Campaign Headquarters Building, the train depot, butterfly garden and Billy Carter’s Service Station. There are other historical points around the area such as the boyhood home of President Carter, The schoolhouse, and others throughout the local area of Plains.
Take advantage of every moment to get out there and find what makes you happy. I love wandering with my camera, find what makes you happy.
If you want to see some other Historic Rural Churches that I have visited please visit https://sosarah.net/2020/10/27/travelers-rest-methodist-phillippi-primitive-baptist/ and https://sosarah.net/2020/10/23/youngs-chapel-methodist-church/
To more exploring