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Church Records and Histories

A Brief History of Milledge Avenue Baptist Church

1963

Submitted by Nelle Price Epps

Several years ago the Missions Committee of the First Baptist Church began plans to organize a church in the Five Points area. No suitable property was available in the area at that time, so the committee investigated adjacent areas. A five acre tract on the Atlanta Highway was purchased by the First Baptist Church. Since there was no building on the property, a large house at Five Points was rented to begin services.

The first service was held on March 2, 1958, with 114 present for Sunday School. Two worship services and Sunday School were held each Sunday thereafter, with the Rev. Mr. Bob Ashworth, Baptist Student Director at the University of Georgia, serving as temporary pastor. The mission was called The Baptist Chapel.

Since the chapel attracted people from the Atlanta Highway areas as well as from the Five Points area, it was soon realized that two churches were needed. Committees were appointed and surveys conducted to determine the potentialities of two churches.

Sunday, October 26, 1958, marked the climax of the mission enterprise. The Milledge Avenue Baptist Church was constituted at the chapel building with ninety members. Rev. Bob Ashworth accepted the pastorate of the new church. The Beech Haven Mission began full time services that same day in a new building on the Atlanta Highway property of the First Baptist Church.

The Milledge Avenue Baptist Church purchased the Caskey home at 1690 South Milledge, our present location, at a cost of $50,000. The sum was raised by gifts, and by selling bonds to the members and a few people outside the church. The property consists of a large house, a summer house, a green house, and over five acres of land. There was no space in the buildings suitable for worship services, so the church voted to erect an auditorium to be used as a temporary sanctuary. When our permanent sanctuary is built, this will become the Fellowship Hall.

On Easter Sunday, March 29, 1959, the first services were held in the present facilities. The Dedication Ceremony was held on Sunday, May 3, 1959 which was four years ago this Sunday. The charter membership was closed at this time with 159 charter members.

The first revival began April 5, 1959 and continued through April 10, with the Rev. Mr. Louis Kennedy, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Thomaston, as guest preacher. The first Vacation Bible School was held June 15-19, 1959 with an enrollment of 57.

The membership of the church has increased from the original 90 to 338 as of April. The budget has grown from one of $16,000 the first year to over $38,000 this year. The present enrollment in Sunday School is 392 and the Training Union enrollment is 125. The estimated value of all property and equipment of the church approaches $100,000.

A building committee is presently working with Dennis and Dennis Architects of Macon in planning an educational building which will house the Nursery through Primary departments. Construction of this building is expected to begin this summer. The permanent sanctuary will be added in two or three years.

CHARTER MEMBERS

First Baptist Church of Athens certified that those listed below were regular members and were dismissed to unite with Milledge Avenue Baptist Church [which] was organized on October 1958.

Dr. H. P. Giddens, Moderator

Rev. Bob Ashworth
Mrs. Bob Ashworth
Rev. Robert Ayers
Mrs. Robert Ayers
Miss Sandra Ayers
Mr. E. M. Barge
Mrs. E. M. Barge
Mr. Ed Barge, Jr.
Miss Mary Anne Barge
Mrs. Ovid Bird
Mrs. R. F. Bird
Mr. Stacie L. Bowen
Miss Nell C. Boyd
Mrs. Ray Bush
Mr. Ray Bush, Jr.
Miss Becky Bush
Mrs. J. Phil Campbell, Sr.
Mr. C. W. Chapman
Mrs. C. W. Chapman
Miss Cecelia Chapman
Miss Claudia Chapman
Miss Susanne Chapman
Mr. A. C. Cohen
Mrs. A. C. Cohen
Miss Susan Cohen
Mrs. Gladys Diamond
Mr. L. W. Eberhardt, Jr.
Mrs. L. W. Eberhardt, Jr. [Eleanor]
Mr. R. J. Eckles
Mrs. R. J. Eckles
Mr. Walter Eckles
Mr. Billy Epps
Mrs. Billy Epps [Nelle Price]
Mr. James Farmer
Mrs. James Farmer [Estelle]
Mr. George Head, Jr.
Mr. H. B. Henderson
Mrs. H. B. Henderson
Miss Leah Mae Jarrett
Mr. Rodney W. Johnson

E. B. Mell, Clerk

Mrs. Claudia Kimbrell
Mr. B.C. Kinney
Mrs. B.C. Kinney (Nita)
Mr. Sam S. Kreuz
Mrs. Sam S. Kreuz
Mr. Thomas Lawrie
Mr. Neil Manley
Mrs. Neil Manley
Mr. Bobby Manley
Mrs. Martha M. Matthews
Miss Aurelia Jo Matthews
Miss Karen Mathews
Mrs. Lloyd Messer
Mrs. S. C. Moon
Mr. E. H. Morris
Mrs. H. M. Morris
Miss Anna Nolan
Mr. J. P. Nicholson
Mrs. J. P. Nicholson
Mrs. D. L. Nowell
Mr. G. L. O’Kelley
Mrs. G. L. O’Kelley
Mr. T. Hayden Rogers
Mrs. T. Hayden Rogers
Miss Fredna Rogers
Dr. Albert Saye
Mrs. Albert Saye
Mr. Wade H. Simmons
Mrs. Wade H. Simmons
Miss Linda Simmons
Mr. Steve Smith
Miss Sue Stanford
Mr. Sidney Tidwell
Mrs. Sidney Tidwell
Miss Sidney Tidwell
Mr. James B. Weaver, Jr.
Mrs. James B. Weaver
Miss Florence Whitfield
Mr. Sam E. Woods, Jr.
Mrs. Sam E. Woods, Jr.
Miss Annie V. Womack
Mr. L. D. Worley

 

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