Hopeful Primitive Baptist

Fayette County
Org 1825
Photography by Gail Des Jardin

Hopeful Primitive Baptist has been renovated by an amazing group of local citizens who realize the importance of saving these historical treasures and we are all indebted to them for the effort. This from the local history – “Following the United States of America Declaration of Independence in 1776, pioneers began moving west into the frontier including the area that would become Fayette County. Acquired by the Creek cession of January 8, 1821, the county is named after the Marquis de LaFayette, the French general who served under George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Within Fayette County, one of the oldest communities is Hopeful. The focal point of this historic community is Hopeful Primitive Baptist Church on the southeast corner of the intersection of Georgia Highway 92 North and New Hope Road. Hopeful Primitive Baptist Church and Cemetery were established in 1825. The church has an impressive collection of original leather books that document the church’s history from the beginning. The pioneers handwriting, laid down by quill and ink pen, record the church’s business on what was then the American western frontier. These books are as impressive as they are beautiful.

Celebrating 190 years of service to the community, Hopeful rests on hand hewn beams with mortise and tenon joints. This construction practice has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers to join pieces of wood. It is both simple and strong. The impressive, single room, 30’ x 40’ foot architectural wood structure has a 12’ foot ceiling with three doors and nine windows. The recently restored roof once again has hand split 24” wooden shingles that replaced the 20th century asphalt shingles. Only 10” of each shingle course is visible which when combined with a steep roof pitch will keep the church dry for a very long time. Fayette County, through its ties to the Palace of Versailles, in May 2015 received a Marie Antoinette Oak Tree that was planted in the garden between the church and cemetery. The cemetery has 101 readable headstones yet ground penetrating radar clearly indicate there are upwards of over 300 graves in the old cemetery all facing east on perfect laid north/south lines.

Fayette County pioneers and church members who are buried in the cemetery served in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World War 1 and II. Indians and African American Slaves are also buried in the cemetery. Mathew Yates, famous for the Yates Apple has his final resting place in the cemetery as well as descendants of Matthew Thornton signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Hampshire. Hopeful, an icon of Fayette County, is being saved, restored and preserved for future generations.”

Thank you citizens of Fayette for your stewardship of this historic treasure.

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