Evergreen Baptist, was organized in 1809 in what was then Pulasaki County, constituted in 1808. The original name of the church was Mt. Horeb, located on the Old River Road. Later, in the 1840s, there were storms brewing in the Baptist denomination due to fundamentalists versus progressives, who were embracing new ideas that some interpreted as running counter to the old doctrines. The history tells us that on February 17, 1844 a group of members met to worship but found the church had been “nailed and locked out by a Brother Burkhalter. A group of the members agreed to quit the house and build as soon as possible”.
This was a time in history when some members within the Baptist denomination began to consider new ideas such as missions, Sunday Schools and other progressive new programs. However, many Baptists were opposed to these new ideas and declared themselves Primitive Baptists, to signify they were the original Baptists. The Primitives then declared non-fellowship with any member who engaged or believed in Sunday-school work, missions, theological schools or any other new-fangled institutions of the day.
The progressive members of Mt. Horeb resolved to form a separate church and appointed a building committee to select a proper site. The members selected the name Evergreen for the new church, and they met at the Methodist Campground on Longstreet Road for a time. The church you see above was completed in 1846. The history also reminds us that the church was built in the time of slavery, with a gallery built to accommodate the African American members, who outnumbered the white members. It states that “In 1870, the Negroes chose to worship separately, so they were dismissed to their own fellowship”.
We are grateful to the members of Evergreen who have provided stewardship of the church and its history for all this time. Improvements have been made over the years, but the basic bones of the sanctuary have stood for over 170 years and she is still going strong. Be sure to click and scroll the gallery photos below for more Evergreen Baptist history.
The entrance to the church is dramatic and reminds us of horse and buggy days. This view has not changed much since 1846.
We are always amazed at the skills of the old-time craftsmen. They worked with what they had, and what they had was rocks and trees. This building, based on a fieldstone foundation has stood for over 170 years………still dead level.
Obviously many improvements have been made over the years, but the simple sanctuary still occupies the original footprint and is void of any superfluous decoration.
The apse and the podium are simple as well. Nothing but a vase of fresh flowers to add to the décor.
We are not sure of the age of these rail pews but they are very old. Not a place you want to sit very long with no cushions. The heart pine floors were constructed from local trees of significant size. They are absolutely beautiful.
The original window casing was designed to accommodate solid shutters, that can then be closed for protection of the sanctuary. Another construction feature that reflects the skill level of the builders.
Here is a view of the gallery that is part of the original structure. The history tells that at one time, the black church members outnumbered the white.
Finally, here is view from the gallery looking down into the sanctuary. It is easy to visualize what the church interior looked like back in the day. Just take away the carpet, substitute the original pews and return to the original apse and podium. She was a simple beauty.
Ida Louise Daniel was born April 9, 1915 and died August 20, 1917. She was just 2 years old when she died. Her parents are unknown but several people with last name Daniel are buried at the Evergreen Baptist Church Cemetery.
Chester Brown was born in 1820 and died October 6, 1855.The 1850 Bibb County census shows Chester Brown, born in Virginia, age 30, living in Macon, Georgia, with occupation Tobacconist.
Annie Mae Rogers was born March 9, 1912 and died May 2, 1925. She was the daughter of John Delbert Rogers (1880-1947) and Flora Macomson Rogers (1890-1947). She died at 12 years of age of a sarcoma on her left thigh. The 1910 Pulaski County census shows John D. Rogers, age 30, salesman in General Store, Flora Rogers, age 20 and 2 children. The 1920 Bleckley County census lists J. D. Rogers, age 39; Flora, age 29, Mae, age 7 and 3 more children.
Barely readable on this marker are the words “Mrs. T. R. Hamby”. There are no dates or other readable information. The name on this marker is all we know about this person.
John Frederick Bollinger was born August 23, 1847 in Pulaski County, Georgia and died June 14, 1920. His wife was Elmina Elizabeth Wynne Bollinger (1849-1925). Census records show he was a farmer and a carpenter. He was the son of Frederick and Elizabeth Pope Bollinger.
Eliza Ann Rogers was born August 18, 1855 in Franklin County, Georgia. She died September 1, 1910. She was the wife of Frank M. Rogers. They were married in 1878 and had five children.
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Evergreen Baptist is located at 1126 Highway 87 N., Bleckley County, Cochran, GA 31014. Our mailing address is P. O. Box 787. Thanks for including our church.