Union Primitive Baptist

Lamar County
Org 1837
Photography by Scott Farrar

Union Primitive Baptist was established in what was then Monroe County in 1837, on land donated by Benjamin Dumas and two of his sons in the village of Coggans, named for John F. Coggins, a successful planter and businessman.  The first structure was a log building, soon to be replaced by a larger frame building in 1856.  The present structure you see here was built in 1890.

The church, organized in 1837, is a wonderful trip back into the past. To better understand that past, we have to go back to the early 19th century and the history of the conflicts between the emerging state of Georgia and the Creek Indians. In 1805, Georgia had acquired the land between the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers in the Treaty of Washington. The state now sought to acquire the land between the Ocmulgee and Flint rivers, and managed to so do at the Treaty of Indian Springs in 1821.  The Creek delegation was led by Chief William McIntosh, who was assassinated shortly afterwards on orders of the Creek Council who felt he had no authority to sign such a treaty. Monroe County was formed as a result, and much later, Lamar County was authorized in 1920..

Union Primitive Baptist is one of the earliest Primitive Baptist churches in Georgia, having split from Shiloh Baptist located not far away.  Shiloh was organized in Monroe County in 1826, shortly after the treaty.  The Primitive Baptist denomination began in the 1830s when some members of the Baptist faith felt that the church had become too progressive by embracing new concepts such as missions, Sunday schools, musical instruments etc. You will see from the photos below that the furnishings are compatible with the faith…..no frills, no musical instruments or other distractions from the original worship traditions they wished to uphold.

The cemetery is well maintained in a beautiful setting, and within its grounds lie some of the earliest Georgia settlers.  We are grateful to the congregants of Union Primitive Baptist and their stewardship of the church sanctuary for the last 125 years.  The church will now be enjoyed by generations to come, who love and respect the history of these old treasures.  Be sure to click and scroll the photos below for more history of the church and the early pioneers in the graveyard.