Our Rich History

The Eatonton Baptist Church was constituted in 1818 with ten members. Jessee Mercer came in 1820 as the first pastor. The Georgia Baptist Convention, organized in 1822, met in Eatonton in 1824 and 1825. It was noted that the Eatonton Church was perhaps then the strongest in the state. Adel Sherwood became pastor in 1827, the year the great revival began sweeping through the southeast. Sherwood said it began in a ladies prayer meeting held in the Eatonton Church. In 1828 the church offered to provide board for all young ministers who would apply to be instructed by Sherwood. He himself states, “this little school of prophets…was in reality the very beginning of Mercer University”.

Participation in Baptist endeavors increased with emphasis on missions. The church, overflowing built a new building that was dedicated in 1943 with Lon Knight as Pastor. The church went up in flames due to arson in December, 1978. After concerted efforts of leaders and members a beautiful new building was dedicated in a three day celebration ending Sunday, March 27, 1983 led by former pastor William Kitchen, III.

The church has grown to house a family life center, gymnasium and a Christian learning center for children. Through the leadership of a multi-staff and committed membership the Church strives to serve God with the same fervor in which it was founded. God has blessed the First Baptist Church of Eatonton.

Excerpts taken from and in memory of church historian, Leila Brittian

First Baptist Church, 115 N. Madison Avenue, Eatonton, Georgia  706-485-3331