Millstone Baptist Church had the great good fortune to have been constituted in the Millstone Creek/Goosepond Creek community of Old Wilkes County, which was created in 1777. Oglethorpe County was then created out of Wilkes in 1793. This community had been settled by Virginians that migrated to that section of Georgia on the Broad and Savannah Rivers. This area cradled governors, senators, a territorial governor, an ambassador, a secretary of state, representatives, explorers and generals….. men and women who rose to exceptional heights in the late seventeen hundreds and into the early eighteen hundreds. For this reason, early 19th Century Georgians referred to Oglethorpe County as ‘The Mother of Statesmen‘.
In January 1788, two giants of the burgeoning Baptist church in Georgia, Rev. Silas Mercer and Rev Jeremiah Walker, helped the people of the community form Millstone Baptist Church. It was placed on seven acres of land that were donated by Martha and Andrew Bell. Its location in such an active community guaranteed that the church would flourish, and it did, well into the 20th Century. The present church building was erected in 1890 and is artfully located in a grove of trees off Millstone Road. Millstone was always known to be a site of plentiful baptisms. The baptismal pool is located down the hill near the creek.
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Millstone has remained an active church with a small, dedicated membership. Because of this, the church’s interior which was once sparsely finished and furnished, has been modified to provide those amenities that must be offered in a 21st century sanctuary….. heating, air conditioning, electricity and rest room facilities! Though modernized within, Millstone remains true to the traditions of the Baptist faith with sound workmanship, reverential furnishings and an appreciation of the past. The church remains externally as it was when built almost 125 years ago, while providing an inviting and comfortable sanctuary within where congregants can come and worship. Millstone Baptist, as a building as well as congregation, stands today like a rock…225 years after its founding.
In this view from the rear of the church… looking toward the pulpit and the airy bright apse… one can appreciate, almost feel, the elegant simplicity which Millstone reflects. This kind of atmosphere will help comfort and engage Millstone’s congregation in future years as it has in the past.
Millstone remains an important bastion of the Baptist church in Oglethorpe County, and baptisms are still performed at the outdoor baptismal pool located down the hill near the creek. The church comes by its reputation for baptisms quite legitimately. Rev. John G. Gibson, who was ordained at Millstone in 1865, was a pastor of the church for 25 years. He once stated, at the beginning of a revival, ‘I expect to Baptize forty people during this meeting in spite of the devil’. He baptized sixty. Well done thou good and faithful servant.
Standing upon the same hill for over 200 years, Millstone is a lovely and worthy example of an Historic Rural Church in Georgia that has been preserved, maintained and loved. Still serving its spiritual mission after two and a quarter centuries. Amen.
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Can you tell me who has the original church minutes from 1788-1842? In 1968 it was in the possession of Mr. G.L. Pass, Clerk, RFD #1, Carlton, GA 30627. It was brought in to be microfilmed by Miss Ruth Corry for Rev. Robert E. Pless.
Jean, we do not have this information. The information you have just provided is the first we have seen. It just goes to show how vulnerable these old documents are.
What is the address for this church in Oglethorpe?
We don’t have an address but the location and directions are on the Google map on this page.