First Baptist Church
201 East Main Street
Circa 1840s
The Baptists were the first to have a meeting house in Washington County, with the organizing of the Buffalo Ridge Church by Tidence Lane in 1779.  However, it would be 1843 before the first permanent building was erected, a one story building  on the north side of Spring Street at South Lincoln Avenue.

The congregation quickly outgrew the first building, and in 1852 the existing church was built.  Z. L. Burson, a prominent businessman and leading member of the church, donated the belfry bell.

For a time the church housed a school for girls, run by Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Keeling, and then later a separate building was erected for the school.  Unfortunately, hard times during the Civil War caused the school to close.

The Baptist Church was particularly hard-hit during the Cholera Epidemic of 1873, with Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Collins the first Jonesborough residents to be affected and died from the disease.  Their pastor, Rev. G. C. Thrasher, stayed in Jonesborough to care for the sick and dying, while many citizens fled the town.  He was the last of the congregation to die.  This was a severe blow to the congregation, which took many years to recover.

Built in the Greek Revival style of architecture.  The sanctuary was remodeled in the 1890s, and the original slave gallery was removed.     See a vintage photograph of the Baptist Church.


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