Flem was built around a pond. On the southeast side of the pond a cotton gin was built around 1890 by Bill Garrett and Tom Cochran. The pond was the town's main source of power and most families built around it.
Worship was important to the early settlers. Timothy Bloodworth organized "meetings" to sing praises and hear the Gospel preached before there was organized churches.
The three earliest were: Pleasant Hill Freewill Baptist, Mt. Nebo Primitive Baptist and Trinity Methodist.
Mrs. Bessie Davis was the postmaster when the post office was the first to move (Sept 12, 1906) the 3 miles west to the Atlantic, Birmingham and Atlantic Railroad tracks. The Railroad called this Charing Crossing (taken from the English name) The name of the post office was officially changed to Charing on Nov 4, 1908.
Hubert H. Rogers - June 6, 1909 Jessie I Jinks - Dec 5, 1913 Simms Garrett - Oct 26, 1916 Benny Leon Waller - Jan 26, 1941 Harmon O. Montgomery - Feb 14, 1942 (declined) Benny Leon Waller - May 1, 1942 Mrs. Johnnie Pittman Waller - June 30, 1943 Benny Leon Waller - May 31, 1946 Effie L. Garrett - Dec 13, 1957 Mrs. Johnnie Pittman Waller - Mar 2, 1970 until closed in 1974.
In 1910 Charing experienced growth and the Rogers brothers had a large brick store built with three compartments. The contractor was S.S. Kent of Americus. The Rogers brothers each had a house built around that time too.
In 1912 when the town was incorporated, J.A. Hollis was Representative, and C.E. Marshall Senator in the General Assembly.
On Sept 21, 1912 the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Charing was chartered and began business on Nov 6, 1912 with R.L. Bell as the cashier. The bank was owned by John D. Walker and later by J.T. Garrett and Simms Garrett. This bank was one of the ones in Taylor County that did not fail during the Depression of 1929.
The charter was removed in 1915, the bank was closed, the town doctore moved away and World War II came with so many young men going into the service and young women going to work in the war industries.
Today, Charing is a small community for those who love it enough to drive 50 miles to jobs elsewhere.
Slightly northeast of the town about 1/2 mile are the remains was an Indian village...probably the Creeks. In 1905 the Indian mounds there were still about 8 ft high. One especially high one (12 ft) was said to be that of an Indian chief buried on his horse. Cut into the hillside around this were "seats and steps". Although they have washed away, arrowheads and Indian relics are still found.
Mt. Nebo Primitive Baptist Church
The Mt. Nebo Primitive Baptist Church was constituted September 21, 1886. The original building was located on 4 acres of land given by George Layfield. The Presbytery was composed of Elder John Green Murray of Bethel Church-Butler, Elder Bennett Stewart of Prosperity Church, Deacon John Hudson of Bethel Church-Butler, and Deacaon William Greenbery Allmon of Prosperity Church.
Elder John Green Murray was elected moderator and Brother J.M. Stewart was elected as clerk of the Presbytery. Prayer was offered by Brother J.B. Pickard of Phillip Church, Schley County. After prayer, letters were called for and the following Brethren and Sisters came forward with letters.
Elizabeth Wheeler Bloodworth, widow of Timothy Bloodworth, requested that the new Church be named Mt. Nebo after the Mt. Nebo in Wilkinson County where she and her husband were baptized by Elder David Smith in 1835.
Prior to joining Mt. Nebo Church, Timothy and Elizabeth Wheeler Bloodworth were members of Prosperity Church, Taylor County. Brother Bloodworth died at his home of dropsy of the chest, April 7, 1885, and was laid to rest in what is now known as Bloodworth Cemetery, before the Mt. Nebo Church was organized.
When the original church was in need of repair it was decided to move the building to a flat about 1/4 mile south of the original building. Four acres of land was given by T.C. Bloodworth and J.T. Garrett and a house was constructed in 1904 that served as the church building until 1939. In 1939 it was decided to build a new building nearer the Bloodworth Cemetery and that still serves as the Mt. Nebo Church. This land was donated by Mrs. Mamie Williamson and the building chairman was R.L. Garrett.
The Mt. Nebo Cemetery was originally the Bloodworth Family Cemetery after the church was established nearby, it took its name also.
Mr. John Adams has a copy of the early minutes.
Information from: The Taylor Tracer, Vol 1 #2, April 1996.
Prosperity Primitive Baptist Church
Within the bounds of the history of the Prosperity Primitive Baptist Church are woven the strands of the history of the area surrounding Rupert and the threads of life in Taylor County as a whole. While walking among the old gravestones in the Prosperity Cemetery on the second Sunday in April, Memorial Day at the old church and cemetery, it is easy to weave together the life of the community as the prominent names of those long gone are observed there.
Organized in 1850 according to the old records, the church has now dwindled down to only a handful of faithful members who return to the services once a month. It began in a bush arbor a little distance from the present site but when the present concrete block church was built in 1946, it replaced a frame building which had been on the same premises beside the cemetery.
The church has served the area as a beacon of salvation for many years with no kind of church nearer than the three or four miles to the Sand Bethel Methodist Church or even farther to a Free Will Baptist or Missionary Baptist Church. When horses and buggies or going on foot was the means of transportation many came from miles around to enjoy the weekend services with preaching all day and dinner on the ground at noon and more singing, preaching and fellowship in the afternoons.
The church and cemetery are located on the crest of a hill at the crossroads of roads connecting the southern and northern parts of the county as well as the eastern and western parts. It is a member of the Upatoi Association as are the other Primitive Baptist Churches in the county.
So the Prosperity Primitive Baptist Church doors remain open and the members reachout friendly hands to those who wish to come and worship with them. Although 126 years old, the message preached there is just as new as today.
From 100 Years of History - The Butler Herald 1976
From "The History of Macon County, GA" by Louise Frederick Hays:
'The Church That Was Cut In Two'
Just across the [Macon Co.] line in Taylor [Co.], but drawing much of its
membership from Macon Co., was a Primitive Baptist Church called Prosperity
Church. When Missions began to be a subject of discussion and disruption in
the Baptist Churches, this church took the subject very seriously. Wiley
PASSMORE, a loyal contributor to the church, was opposed to Missions and
determined that his church should not accept such ideas. While the
discussion was warmest, he called the roll of the members, causing the old
believers to sit on the right and those accepting the new idea on the left.
The next day, he took his slaves and sawed the church exactly half in two
from the roof to the foundation and moved the half which clung to the old
Faith, so that it would not become contaminated.
Shared by Donna Wall.