The beautiful Crawfordville Presbyterian Church has a long rich history. Considering the time period, I assume many decisions had to be approved by the men but according to the church history the women surely seemed to have the edge in faith and played a huge role in the church’s development.
Crawfordville Presbyterian Church, located in downtown Crawfordville, Georgia was established on November 15, 1879 when a committee appointed by the Augusta Presbytery met at the Crawfordville Methodist Church to organize the church which consisted of twelve charter members. Church history does not specifically say but I assume meetings were held at Crawfordville Methodist or individual homes until Crawfordville Presbyterian had its own building.
On January 28, 1893, the Reverend M. W. Doggett, an evangelist of the Synod of Georgia, came to Crawfordville and began a series of meetings about the church. Following these meetings, Julia Hammack and other faithful women of the church organized The Ladies Presbyterian Aid Society in July of 1894, with the express purpose of raising money to build a church. Julia Harris Hammack was one of the charter members of the church and the second wife of Joseph Davis Hammack, who served Taliaferro County as Tax Commissioner, Clerk of Inferior Court, Superior Court and Ordinary Judge and later served many years until his death as controller of the Taliaferro County Treasury. Julia Hammack was described as a devout and earnest Christian woman, who worked tirelessly with hope and an expectation of someday seeing a church building built.
According to church history, it appears the men of Crawfordville Presbyterian Church may have thought building a church was nothing but an idle dream. But by the spring of 1895, seeing the optimism and determination of these faithful women, the Ladies Presbyterian Aid Society had secured the consent of four male members of the church to act as a building committee. Finally on July 5, 1896, the work of building the church was completed and the Presbyterian Congregation worshipped for the first time in their own church building. I have to assume the brick church building seen here may be the second building. There is a cornerstone which is part of the church tower that states “Erected Oct 4 1920” but nothing about that date is mentioned in the history. Women also seem played a part in obtaining the land for the church when Sallie Lou Bristow, Mammie Hammack and Claude Bristow conveyed information about properties to the church officers.
After Julia Hammack’s death, her daughter Kate Hammack Bird was a devout servant to the church just like her mother. Kate Bird was the wife of Judge William Wiley Bird, an elder in the church. She was a lover of music and song and served as the church musician for many years. Her son, Doctor Frank Bird, purchased a beautiful organ in her honor and donated it to the church.
These and many more women and men were mentioned in the church history I found and they were honored by this closing statement, “The above-mentioned members of Crawfordville Presbyterian Church were truly noble people. All were kind to the church, Sunday school and to all of Taliaferro County”.
Your tax-deductible donation to Historic Rural Churches will help keep history alive through digital and physical preservation efforts for Georgia’s rural churches, their history and the communities that support them.
Full Name *
Sign me up for the newsletter!