Omer Christian

Barrow County
Org 1883
Photography by Randy Clegg

Omer Christian (Disciples of Christ) was organized and constructed in 1883 about a half mile from its current location. The history tells us that the structure was built by local settlers from trees that were felled in a storm in September 1882. The name Omer came from the Reverand R. V. Omer (1853 – 1916) who was the pastor of the church for the first two and a half years. According to the history, 125 people were baptized at the little church in the woods in the summer of 1885. However, in 1909, many of the church members joined the newly formed Carter Hill Christian Church and the Omer congregation was dissolved. The cemetery predates the church by many years, the first interment being recorded in 1820, but the members had always used it as a final resting place for the Omer Congregation. So, in 1910, the little church was moved to be on the same parcel of land, where it sits today.

Although development and highway 316 have interrupted the rural serenity, the old church is still nestled in the trees where it has remained untouched, except for basic maintenance, for well over 100 years. She is preserved as an almost perfect example of a simple, turn of the century rural Georgia church. Everything about the interior has been preserved in its original state, and is a feast for the eyes and the senses, as you will see in subsequent photos. You are transported back to 1883 in every aspect of construction and furnishings. Even though there have been no regular services for over 100 years, the trustees and descendants still meet for annual reunions and raise enough money to keep the church maintained. For this we are all grateful.

In addition to the splendid preservation aspect of the Omer church, the cemetery has been in use since 1820 and is quite a story itself. According to the local lore, a family was traveling west, following an old Indian trail through the forest. The weather turned bad and they stopped at the home of Thomas Dillard, partly to take shelter and partly to tend to a young child who had become very ill. Sadly, the child died and Thomas Dillard gave them a plot of land on which to bury the child, who was the first interment of what became Omer Cemetery. Thomas Dillard’s father, Willam, was the second interment and eventually Thomas followed him. Many Dillard descendants settled in this part of the Georgia backcountry. Both the church and the cemetery were placed on the National Register in 2000.

+ Read More