Phillips Mill Baptist Church is certainly one of the most historic, seminal and prominent Baptist Churches in Wilkes County. It was on this site in 1785 that the first 16 people met in Joel Phillips’ grist mill and agreed to organize a church. The principal organizer was Silas Mercer. Being raised in the Church of England, as a young man Silas had been vocally and violently opposed to Baptist doctrine. He later changed his mind. Though the very first Georgia Baptist Association had been organized at Kiokee Church in 1784, its first regular meeting was held at Phillips Mill on October 15, 1786. Thus began Phillips Mill’s long and storied affiliation with the Baptist hierarchy. It is fitting that Silas’ son, Jesse Mercer, was ordained to the ministry by the church in 1789 and, upon the death of his father in 1796, he assumed the duties as pastor. In the 19th century, Jesse Mercer became the architect and most significant voice of an ever-growing and powerful Baptist institution in Georgia. Mercer University, originally in Penfield, now Macon, was named in his honor.
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Where is original Phillips mill church site
Seeking information where Silas Mercer home place is today
Who owns property to get permission to visit
Aware of Silas Mercer road near ficklin
James Mercer buried on property
Great great grandson to James mercer
L West, please email me. I believe to have a section of Silas Mercers Land. I am currently researching the area and would be interested in speaking with you. [email protected]. Please put Silas Mercer as subject line so I don’t delete or overlook. Thank you!
Doing genealogy research and believe we may have an ancestor buried there; John Flynt.
Who may I communicate with about historic graves?
We are not sure Eli. Your best resource would probably be Findagrave. Or you can reach out to the Wilkes County Historical Society. Good luck.
On a tour with the Georgia Baptist Historical Commission, I heard Rev. John King, former pastor of Philip’s Mill, tell this story. The grave of Silas Mercer was discovered out in a wooded area and the church wanted to move the grave of Mercer and his wife to a prominent place in front of the church. The church brought in state forensic officials, received the necessary paper work to move the remains, etc. When the body of Silas Mercer was exhumed, the folks gathered were immediately taken aback and surprised that there was a round hole in his skull. Some in the group that day thought: preacher shot! As it turned out, Silas was kicked by a mule or horse and a drilled hole was the remedy for the swelling of the brain.
Brantly, thanks for passing this along. What a story.
Some of my ancestors are from Wilkes Co. Georgia. Would be curious about their congregation records from 1785-1900.
The largest archive for these records would be in the Tarver Library at Mercer University.