Ceres-Musella Baptist

Crawford County
Org 1884
Photography by Tony Cantrell

In rural Crawford County, a small community called Ceres emerged, named after the Roman Goddess of agriculture. While there isn’t much left of Ceres today, parts of its history have survived in the nearby community of Musella.

In March 1884, Ceres Baptist Church began services, led by Reverend J.A. Jackson, in a schoolhouse. The following year, a church sanctuary was constructed at Ceres and a Baptist congregation met there on the 4th Sunday of each month until the arrival of the railroad caused a shift for the community.

In 1895, a new town first appeared on the map near Ceres called Musella. Musella had been founded as a flag stop along the Atlanta & Florida Railroad that was laying tracks to connect Atlanta and Fort Valley, Georgia. The decision to bring the railroad through would be the beginning of the story for the town of Musella while it marked the beginning of the end for Ceres.

In 1889, a Post Office was opened at Musella, and in 1890, a general store opened as well. In a short period of time, the small but bustling stop of Musella had emerged as a vibrant economic center in Crawford County. The railroad offered better opportunities for farmers to bring their products to market so residents of nearby Ceres migrated to Musella. 

The unusual town name reportedly comes from the joining of the names Moses and Ella after the names of two early settlers here. Meant to be ‘Mosella,’ a transcription error left the town with the official name Musella.

In 1908, the Ceres Baptist Church voted to relocate 2 miles into Musella, and by 1909, they had constructed a new sanctuary. On September 26, 1909, the first services were held at Musella, and later that year, the congregation voted to change the name from Ceres Baptist to Musella Baptist.

In 1913, the Ceres Cotton Gin was disassembled and relocated to Musella, where it operated continually until 1995.

Today, the congregation is small but still active in this vibrant farming community.

If you have the chance to visit, take extra time on your trip to stop at Dickie’s Peach Stand, with trees that were planted here in Musella in 1897.

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