Thomas W. Brandon is the founder of the church in Bartow County known as Brandon’s Chapel. Mr. Brandon grew up in Gwinnett county but he was born in Virginia, a very typical migration pattern of early Georgia settlers that populated Georgia from Virginia, North and South Carolina. Thomas and Louisa Green were married in 1830 and moved into the county in 1835, and began their life on a plantation he acquired on the Etowah River in the wilderness that was then Bartow county. He became one of the leading farmers in the Euharlee-Stilesboro area. Thomas and Louisa had seven children, four girls and three boys. All three sons served in the Civil War. They survived the war but not without a lot of trauma. All three boys were captured but ultimately made their way home. Thomas died in 1874 and Louisa in 1883. Both are buried in the family cemetery near the old home place now on land now owned by Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen.
Thomas joined the Methodist Church at the age of 17 and later started a Sunday School on his property that was the beginning of Brandon Chapel. Built of hewn logs, with a large fireplace at one end, it was used as the first school house in the county as well as the church. The old United Methodist churches were called societies, and this new church was named ‘Brandon’s Society’ in honor of its founder. Later a new frame church was built on the west side of the present railroad, nearer the town of Stilesboro. Mr. Brandon was instrumental in the building of this church, and it was known as Brandon’s Chapel. The church was destroyed by a cyclone in 1898. The present building was completed in 1899 in Stilesboro and in the course of years has had a large membership.
Brandon’s Chapel was a Methodist church for 161 years but in 1997, it became a Baptist church. The church has recently undergone some restoration work. The photo above was taken before the steeples were lovingly restored. Come pay them a visit if you get the chance. Services are on Sunday mornings at 11 am and Sunday evening at 6 pm.