Dickey Presbyterian

Calhoun County
Org 1871
Photography by Steve Robinson

According to the centennial church history, the founding of Dickey Presbyterian was on March 3, 1849. The name of the original church, located one mile south of the present structure, was the Pachitla Presbyterian Church – then located in Baker County. From the Centennial history – Meetings were held in a frame building located on the west side of the old cemetery on the Morgan-Arlington road. This Church was lighted by candles placed in wooden holders and hung on the walls. This original Church building was sold and the money was used toward construction of the new Church building in 1871. The heavy timbers for the foundation and underpinning were hauled from near Salem Baptist Church by a yoke of twelve oxen. The other lumber was bought and hauled from Boynton and Cordray over near what is now Cordray’s Mill. The windows, window sash, and the outside blinds were purchased from Miller-Brown Company of Ft. Valley, Georgia, and shipped by way of the South-Western Railroad Company.’The new Church building was completed in the Fall of 1871. The first sermon preached in it was by Rev. Luther H. Wilson in December, 1871. The building was dedicated by Rev. James E. Wilson,father of the minister and a retired missionary from India.

In 1872. a request was presented to the Presbytery in Ft. Gaines to change the name of the church to The Whitney Presbyterian Church and in 1913, the name was again changed to The Dickey Presbyterian Church in honor of Mr. Thomas Edward Dickey, who had donated the land in 1871 for the present church, cemetery and a boarding school. Dickey Presbyterian has stood in this quaint spot in rural Calhoun County for almost 150 years on land that is still in the same family. The quiet dignity of the sanctuary is perfect for this lovely setting. Inside a real treat awaits all who enter. The sanctuary is a step back in time and the quality of the construction and the furnishings is reflective of some real rural craftsmanship. Other than the basic additions of electricity in the 1940’s the structure is original, as is the beautiful and restful color palette of the interior. The old church bell still rings across the countryside.

Cathy and Jaa Arnold are descendents of Mr. Dickey and now own the farm that surrounds the old church. Mr. Arnold’s father was a Sunday School teacher at the church for over forty years but the church became inactive in 1998 when the congregation got too small to sustain it. The roots of the Whitney/Dickey families buried in the cemetery run deep . We are grateful for the family stewardship of Dickey Presbyterian and for their remarkable devotion to the preservation of this rural Georgia treasure.

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