Sardis Baptist

Chattooga County
Org 1835
Photography by Mike Sussman

Sardis Baptist goes back to the very earliest days of what was then Floyd County, created from Cherokee County on Dec. 3, 1832, by an act of the General Assembly. Chattooga County was created out of Floyd in 1838. These were very stressful days in this part of North Georgia as the Cherokees were trying desperately to hang on to their ancestral lands. By 1830, the Cherokee Nation consisted of most of northwest Georgia, plus adjoining areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Even while Cherokee Indians remained on their homeland in Georgia, the General Assembly on Dec. 21, 1830 enacted legislation claiming “all the Territory within the limits of Georgia, and now in the occupancy of the Cherokee tribe of Indians; and all other unlocated lands within the limits of this State, claimed as Creek land” (Ga. Laws 1830, p. 127). The act also provided for surveying the Cherokee lands in Georgia; dividing them into sections, districts, and land lots; and authorizing a lottery to distribute the land.

This from the local church history – “Historic Sardis Baptist Church in its conception in 1835 was actually part of Floyd County, pre-dating Chattooga County by a few years. The Church was constituted in 1835 near what is known as Price’s Bridge, about one mile south of the present place of worship. In 1859, Sara Price donated one acre of land located on the Gaylesville-Summerville Road. The Church has remained in service since its early beginnings and still retains most of its original appearance. The historic church is built on the old style and the heavy timbers were put together with wooden pegs. A gallery at the rear of the sanctuary was installed during the days preceding the Civil War when the Negro slaves were members.

The partition down the middle of the three-pew-wide sanctuary has been retained, where the men and women once sat on separate sides during worship services. In 1942, the Chatooga Baptist Association assisted in restoring and reroofing the church, and a short time later, classrooms were added to the rear of the church. The slave balcony was remodeled in 1981 for use as additional classroom space. Located adjacent to the church stands the Fellowship Hall, donated by Miss Lorraine and Miss Gertie Elrod in 1998. The Chattoogaville School was in operation until 1940 at the same location.”

All of us are grateful to the congregation of Sardis for maintaining her proud sense of history and architecture. They have made the necessary adjustments to attract and serve the congregants but they have done it a way that preserves the character and history of this proud part of Georgia history.

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