East Damascus Baptist

Gordon County
Org 1855
Photography by Sam Ratcliffe

East Damascus Baptist is a classic North Georgia country church located in Gordon County in a very rural location, far off the beaten path.  As far as we know, the church is original from the founding date of 1855 when two acres of land were donated by Myers Cochran, one of the first members.  The first minister was William Flemming.  The church was named “East” Damascus Baptist Church because there is another Damascus Baptist Church in Calhoun, on the west side of Gordon County. 

Note the hand pump well in the front of the church.  Not too many of those around…..and this one still works.   Prior to the pump being installed, we are told the well had a bucket for drawing water.  The local history also tells us that the church was also used as a school for a number of years.  The beautiful cemetery is located in a bucolic setting just up the road and around a curve—a short distance from the church building.  There are several Confederate veterans buried there and at least one Revolutionary War veteran.

Fortunately, the church is still vibrant with an active congregation.  The photos below show an interior that has not changed much over the past 160 years.  They were taken by one of our team photographers, Sam Ratcliffe, who has deep roots in this part of North Georgia.  Some of the history for the church was furnished by Faye West Gibson, who still attends the little church in the woods.  He tells us that he also has a maternal great grandmother who is buried there.  His great grandfather is buried a short distance away in the village of Oakman because the roads were too bad to get his body to East Damascus for burial.  Those old mountain backroads were difficult to maintain and frequently washed out.

We are indebted to the congregation of East Damascus for their stewardship of the history and protecting the historical character of the structure.  Still going strong after 160 years of service to the local community that settled in these mountains in the early 19th century.  Be sure to click and scroll on the gallery photos below for more history and information about some of these early Georgia pioneers.