Articles written by J. Frank Lynch of The Citizen News and graciously shared with Fayette County GAGenWeb concerning the fate of Line Creek Baptist Church property and cemetery.


Line Creek Baptist makes move to Coweta
Sunday, October 3, 2004

Another church has left Peachtree City, and this time it’s one of Fayette County’s oldest.

Line Creek Baptist Church held services for the last time Sunday on a hillside overlooking Ga. Highway 54 West where it has stood since 1869.

This weekend, it will hold Sunday school and worship for the first time at a new temporary location at East Coweta Middle School.

Eventually, Line Creek will build a new 20,000-square-foot building on about 15 acres of land it bought last year on Bob Smith Road in eastern Coweta County.

The church, whose membership of about 500 includes some of Fayette County’s most notable family names, recently closed a deal to sell its seven-acre property to RAM Development.

As part of the deal, the church’s cemetery will remain, protected from future commercial development on all four sides by towering concrete retaining walls.

The sale took years of negotiation to finalize. Multiple deeds to the property originating more than 100 years ago stipulated that the land revert back to the original owners should the church ever move or sell.

Church leaders had to go to court to settle the matter. Details were kept private, as was the final sale price of the property.

The church was limited at its Peachtree City site, where driveway access was made near impossible by recent commercial growth and highway construction.

This week, volunteers worked every day to move the church possessions out of the old building and into storage, including pews, hymnals, Sunday school furniture and even the grand piano from the sanctuary.

A huge crowd turned out for the last Sunday in Peachtree City, said a member who answered the phones Thursday afternoon.

Former members came from all around to enjoy singing and dinner on the grounds.

The move is bittersweet, Pastor Bobby Carpenter has said.

“We realize that if we’re going to continue to go on as a church, we’ve got to find a place to go,” Carpenter said last year.

“But we’ll try to move on without losing contact with where we came from.”

The church plans to keep the Line Creek name, Carpenter said.

Line Creek Baptist is just the latest church to leave Peachtree City, where vacant land to expand church buildings is hard to come by.

Braelinn Baptist Church sold its south Peachtree City campus to Landmark Christian School and is building new facilities on Ga. Highway 74 North in Tyrone.

And Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church is considering an offer to sell its prime location at the corner of Hwy. 54 and Peachtree Parkway to Walgreen's.

Through the years, numerous smaller congregations have relocated to eastern Coweta, including Christ the King Charismatic Episcopal Church, Peachtree City Church of God and Trinity Fellowship.

Store eyes church site

 Sunday, October 3, 2004

On the spot where the newly converted were baptized for more than 100 years, commuters may one day be pumping unleaded gasoline at discount prices.

Quik Trip has its eye on the former Line Creek Baptist Church property in western Peachtree City.

The company hopes to build one of its huge convenience stores and gas stations along Ga. Highway 54 West on property where the church has stood since shortly after the Civil War.

Line Creek held services for the final time last Sunday and moved from the site this week after closing on a deal to sell its seven acres to RAM Development.

RAM, which was responsible for Wal-Mart and Home Depot in Peachtree City, has plans to redevelop the entire stretch of Hwy. 54 from the CSX Railway tracks to the Coweta County line.

Purchasing the church property was a key component of the long-range project.

The Quik Trip would be located at the corner of Hwy. 54 and the entrance to Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Brian Corbin, representing Quik Trip, said the company intends to build a quality store with 20 fueling stations which would far and away make it the largest gas station in the city.

“I don’t think anybody in Peachtree City or Fayette County has a gas station that looks like this now,” he said. “This will be a radically different look for QT.”

But the Quik Trip project is far from being a done deal. In a workshop session Monday night, representatives from both RAM appeared before the Peachtree City Planning Commission to talk about how best to go forward with the plans.

City Planner David Rast prefaced the discussion by pointing out the difficulty of the task.

“It’s going to be a challenging tract,” he said. “It’s not a square piece of property and it’s going to take some innovation to make it work.”

The plans shown Monday night by RAM didn’t meet that requirement, several members of the Planning Commission indicated.

Ray Green of the commission implored RAM to “think outside the box.”

RAM proposed grading the hill where the church sits so that it’s level with Home Depot and Wal-Mart. The church cemetery, which stays on the site, would be surrounded by high concrete retaining walls, with graves located high above the surrounding commercial buildings.

Commission member Marty Mullin was aghast at the preliminary plans shown by RAM, specifically the plans to isolate the Line Creek cemetery high above asphalt parking lots.

“It’s a big mistake, a big mistake,” Mullin complained, even after RAM said they’d landscape the high concrete retaining walls to make them appear less daunting.

“You can plant all the ivy you want, but it’s still going to look ridiculous,” Mullin said.

After several minutes of discussion, RAM official agreed to go back to the drawing boards and try to come up with a plan to develop the church acreage and keep the hilly terrain intact, so that the cemetery isn’t left jutting up above the surrounding area.

That might mean reconsidering the design and location of the Quik Trip, they conceded.

Mullin encouraged Corbin of Quik Trip to consider extreme designs as well.

“I would ask you, beg you to think outside the box on this one too,” he said. “If you do, people here will thank you, they’ll applaud you.”

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