Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church – Brooks County

Brooks County, Ga – Visiting rural churches is a great way to better understand the history of communities.  During my trip to Quitman, I had the opportunity to stop and see Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church.  Take a look around the beautiful spot!

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church, ©Old Georgia Homes

The church was constituted in 1834, and it’s one of the few surviving antebellum structures in the county.  This is a great example of what was known as a Wiregrass Primitive Baptist Church, located throughout the South Georgia area.

©Old Georgia Homes

The original site of the church is a few miles away.  There’s a story about the church saying that Rev. Wilson Johnson carried a sycamore tree on his shoulders and planted it close to the south side of the church.

Interior, Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church – January 2018 ©Old Georgia Homes

Standing inside the church, I could sense the history here.  Note the wide heart pine flooring (around 10 inches wide or so).  Looking at those pews, I thought to myself the many people who attended the services over a 140+ year period.  Post and beam construction, simple – yet solid and sturdy.

Interior – Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church, January 2018 – ©Old Georgia Homes

I noticed there were several doors to enter the church, and was curious about that.  A funny story that’s been handed down through the years is how everyone entered the church.  Back in the day, women members entered through the east door and sat on the east side of the church.  Men entered the west door, and sat on west side of church.  And non-members?  Well, they entered through the north door and sat in the north end of the church.

A quick video view above.  I’m still new doing video, so be patient with me!  Takes a while for the old dog to learn new tricks.

Historical Marker Close Up, January 2018 – ©Old Georgia Homes

As always, thanks so much for reading the blog!  And a big thank you to Chuck Ramsey who suggested documenting the old churches in the area.  If you use Instagram, there are daily posts – follow @oldgeorgiahomes – appreciate you coming along for the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church visit!


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