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Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia was founded in 1787 by Rev. Jesse Peters Saint John Methodist Church donated a wooden structure for them to worship in brought to its current location on logs. The present brick structure was built in 1812 by the churches congregation under the leadership of Rev. G.H. Dwellers. It is the oldest church building extant in Augusta and claimed to be the oldest congregation in the state of Georgia. It was built in the style of a New England meetinghouse, rare in Georgia. "The simple, two-story rectangular wooden building has two doors at the first floor topped by two arched windows and a smaller arched attic window in the gable of the street facade. The east and west sides of the church boast first and second-floor ranges of seven wooden 12/12 windows. The interior of the church has an assembly-hall plan consisting of a shallow vestibule on the north end and a long narrow meeting hall.""Augusta Springfield Church"
North Georgia, National Park Service Historic Itinerary, accessed 27 Sep 2010
In 1844, the Methodists built a new brick church at 736 Greene St. This old meeting house was rolled on logs to the corner of 12th St and Reynolds to be given to the Springfield Baptist congregation, one of the oldest black Baptist congregations in the nation. During the antebellum years, it had 1,000 members and was the largest congregation of any in the Georgia Baptist Association. In 1897, the congregation built a new church on the site, in the Late Victorian Gothic style. The former building was moved to face Reynolds St, and they continue to maintain it and use it for special events. The congregation claims continuous ties with Silver Bluff Baptist Church, founded 1774–1775 in South Carolina as one of the first black Baptist congregations in the nation. For this reason, the historian Walter Brooks suggested it was the oldest black Baptist congregation.Walter H. Brooks, "The Priority of the Silver Bluff Church and Its Promoters", ''Journal of Negro History'' (April 1922) The First Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia was organized in 1774 and also contends for this distinction. The 1801 Springfield Baptist Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The boundary of the NRHP-listed site was increased in 1990.


See also

*List of the oldest buildings in Georgia

References




External links



Springfield Baptist Church
''New Georgia Encyclopedia'' {{National Register of Historic Places Category:Properties of religious function on the National Register of Historic Places in Augusta, Georgia Category:Churches completed in 1801 Category:19th-century Baptist churches in the United States Category:Baptist churches in Georgia (U.S. state) Category:Churches on the National Register of Historic Places in Georgia (U.S. state) Category:National Register of Historic Places in Augusta, Georgia