Top 5 Oldest Churches In Macon
There are more churches located in Macon per square mile vs the population that can attend, than any other place in the continental United States. Of the more than 250 congregations in Macon, by far the greatest number has been Baptist, with Methodist a distant second, but increasing numbers of churches are non- or interdenominational. Check out Macon's Top 5 Oldest Places to Worship today.
1. WASHINGTON AVENUE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – 1838
Tracing its roots back to the pre-Civil War era, the Church was organized around 1838 when Pastor Samuel Cassels was instructed to preach and minister to the slaves of the members of the 1st Presbyterian Church's congregation. Joseph Williams, David Laney, and Robert Carter were the first Ministers ordained to serve the church following its formal establishment. The Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church is not only the oldest African-American congregation in the state of Georgia, but also bears the distinct honor of being one of the oldest minority congregations in the country. Named for the street on which it is located, the Church has become the primary place of worship for many generations of the most prominent black families in Macon. It also enjoys the privilege of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places in America, another indication of its importance in the local, state, and national communities. The story of Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church, which began as a small group of slaves worshipping in a small ``African Chapel'' and has grown into an expansive and successful church, is truly an inspiring one of the dedication and perseverance of a faithful congregation of people who put all their love and trust in the Lord.
939 Washington Avenue
Macon, GA 31201
3. CHRIST CHURCH – 1825
Christ Church is the mother church of the Diocese of Atlanta, and is the oldest congregation of any denomination in Macon, Georgia. Founded in 1825, the present worship facility was constructed in 1850. Famous Poet and attorney Sidney Lanier married his wife Mary Day at Christ Church in December 1867.
582 Walnut Street
Macon, Georgia 31201
2. MULBERRY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH – 1828
The first building completed in 1828, was built by Thomas Gardner, Alexander Richards and Elbert Crews and was named The Macon Church. It was 40 by 60 feet with a square belfry in front and a large gallery to be used by the slaves, who worshipped in the same church as their masters. By 1882 the building had become old and in need of repairs. As part of the Centennial Celebration of 1926, a plan was adopted for the complete renovation of the sanctuary and the addition of the present Sunday School building. This was completed in 1928. Disaster struck in April 1965 with a fire that gutted the sanctuary. Miraculously, the stained glass windows survived and were later installed in the present sanctuary which was opened for worship in 1968. In the early 2000s, Mulberry undertook another massive building program which was completed in 2004 at the cost of some $7,200,000.
719 Mulberry Street,
Macon, GA 31201
4. SAINT JOSEPH'S CHURCH - 1889
Saint Joseph’s church is old Romanesque, Neo-Gothic church that was the realization of an earlier dream of 50 Catholic parishioners and their first priest, Father James Graham. In 1841, this small group of Catholics had bought a Presbyterian church and started the first Catholic parish in Macon, a town incorporated as a city only seventeen years earlier. There are over 60 stained glass windows with their many symbols and pictures of the angels and saints and scenes from the Bible. Almost all are from the Mayer workshops in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The white marble carvings, statues, and altars are from Italian quarries. The columns, though, are all from Georgia's own quarries. Rising 200 feet into the air, the twin cross-topped spires of St. Joseph's Catholic Church add great beauty to the skyline of downtown Macon.
830 Poplar St
Macon, GA 31201
5. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CHRIST – 1826
The First Baptist Church of Christ began in 1826, shortly after the founding of Macon, Georgia. From humble beginnings, the church grew rapidly, occupying four different sites in downtown Macon during the congregation’s first six decades. On May 15, 1887, the church family entered its present home, a lovely Gothic sanctuary at the “top of Poplar” street, situated on a hilltop overlooking the city. Pastors and lay leaders in the church where also instrumental in the founding of Mercer University and the moving of the Mercer campus to Macon in 1871.
511 High Place
Macon, GA 31201