Macedonia Baptist Church and Rev William G. McMichael, elder son of John Madison.

Butts County – Jackson, Georgia
You will be interesting in the following history of Macedonia Baptist Church, instituted in 1826 and one of the oldest and strongest churches in the section. The first part of the history is by Rev. G. W. Wood, and the second
part was written by Rev. I. G. Walker, Sr., the last part is an accumulation of
many people interested in the spiritual history of our heritage.
Macedonia was constituted at Lee’s School House one and a half miles east of
its present location on September 13,1826. James Reeves, John Reeves and Moses
D. White were the officiating presbytery. The following members went into the
organization; William Redman, Samuel Leak and Nancy Thomas. Moses D. White was
the first pastor. He was the brother of Cyrus White, and a member of Paron
Church. He left the regular Baptist and joined the “Whiteites” as they were
called. He was Armenian in sentiment, and the church for this reason asked for
his resignation. He was a Godly man, and for this reason was preeminently
useful in the Master’s Work, but was unstable. John Reeves was then called and
served the remainder of the year. He then moved away.
William Redman was the first deacon, and the first clerk of the church. He was
a man of sound doctrine, and strong in the “faith once delivered to the
saints.” He laid the foundations of the church deep and wide. He was the
anchor both sure and steadfast of the little church. He died, greatly lamented
in 1831. He was the first death in the body.
The first person that united with the church, by experience and Baptism, was
Henry Lee. He was born in Maryland in 1749. He was a brave soldier in the
revolution. He came south about the close of the century. He settled in what
is now Butts County in 1824. He gave part of the land on which the house was
first built, and together with his wife, Jane Lee, united with Macedonia.
They sleep alone near where the first house was located. His son, Larking Lee,
is now (written in 1902) the oldest member of the church, having joined in
November 1838. His grandson, Rev. Parry Lee is now (1902) the pastor of the
Rev. William Byars served the church in 1829. But neither was he sound in
faith. He belonged to a large and influential family of the same name that
came from Spartanburg District, S. C. in 1824. He united with Smyrna Church
about three miles east of Jackson in 1825, and was baptized by John Reeves. He
joined Macedonia in 1826 and in 1827 the church called for help from Bethel.
The committee met, and after due deliberation and prayer, it was decided that
the gifts of William Byars was a “Preaching Gift”. But Samuel Leak was limited
to public exhortation and prayer. Our fathers showed the deepest concern
before a man was allowed to enter the sacred desk. Their grandchildren would
do well in this respect, to pattern after them. He was ordained in 1826 at
Smyrna, by John Reeves and Moses D. White. In 1830 he left the regular Baptist
and joined the United Baptist, and in 1839 he was a delegate from that body to
the State Convention. In 1840, he came back to the old Baptist Association,
and stood high in the estimation of the brethren. In 1846 and 1847, he was
clerk of the Central Tract Society, and he did much good in scattering good
literature. He died before the War.
The Church set a day of fasting and prayer, in which the members agreed to meet
together and ask God to give them an under shepherd of his own calling. James
Carter was called and a committee was appointed to attend Sardis Church and ask
Sardis for this service. The new pastor was not brilliant or eloquent, but he
was what was better, he was sound. The church now began an active interest in
the work of the Lord. Johnathon Reeves granted 2 acres of land for $3.22 ½ in
lot No. 159 for the purpose of building a new church on April 3,1830. In 1835
the church met at its present location and a new building was erected.
In 1838, John McMichael and others, having been expelled from Bethel Church
because they believed in Missions, united with Macedonia by a profession of
faith, and under a powerful sermon by J. S. Gallaway, a revival started in
which about forty were added to the membership. Among this number were two
future heralds of the cross. W. G. McMichael and J. H. Fielder. In 1838, the
Flint River Association met with the church.
The most renowned event that ever happened in this community was the death of
Rev. Jesse Mercer at the home of the Pastor, Rev. James Carter. That sad event
took place on September 6,1841. It brought sadness and sorrow not only to the
pastor and church, but to the county at large. On Friday before he went to
Indian Springs, and on Sunday he attended church at that place of being sick.
He grew worse very rapidly, and on Monday fell in the arms of his nephew
exclaiming as he fell, “I have no fears”. The church passed appropriate
resolutions, and on the following Sunday held services in memory of the honored
dead. From this incident, another revival broke out, and about thirty added to
the Lord. So the Lord used even death of his servant to bring men to
For old files of the Index and other useful papers, the author is greatly
indebted to one who gave her young heart to the Lord Jesus during this
meeting. She was then in the glow of young womanhood. With wonderful eyes,
she had looked on when the church was constituted. She saw Henry Lee, Annie
Andrews and Sarah Willis, the first candidates for Baptism buried with their
Lord. She had looked into the grave of William Redman, the first member of the
church that died. She was two years older than the county in which she lived,
and twenty-three years older than the church that she joined. She had seen,
and was co-worker of every pastor that the church had ever had to the time of
her death. Among the bright galaxy of names that shines with a more constant
light than the name Elizabeth Thomas Maddox. Her funeral was preached by the
author on the 2nd Sunday in March 1900.
Another name ought to be mentioned, D. H. Moncrief, who was a member of the
church in 1841-42. He was born in Oglethorpe County on December 19,1808. He
was Baptized at Shiloh in Green County by Rev. Jack Lumpkin in 1828. He
married Miss Price of Green County in 1838, and shortly took charge of a
literacy school in Butts County, where he resided three years. While a member
of this church he was clerk of the church, and his minutes were models of
neatness. He wrote an elegant hand, and expressed his thoughts in language
that has never been excelled for clearness and purity. He was a prince among
church clerks. He was also licensed by this church to preach the gospel. He
was not ordained, however, until 1848. Even at that advanced age, he was a
great worker in the Master’s vineyard, and before the close of his life
baptized over two hundred people.
He had been a member of the church only two years when he moved back to Green
County. He was the father of Rev. A. L. Moncrief who afterward took such an
active part in the work of our Association. 1843-44 were years of great growth
and ingathering, about thirty being added each year. In the year 1844, the
church licensed two more heralds of the cross, J. H. Fielder and R. Mayo.
Neither of them were ever ordained. J. H. Fielder was a man of good education
and was a teacher as well as preacher. He married a daughter of John McMichael
who still survives him. He died October 1849, in the assurance of a happy
immortality. The Association passed resolutions of regret. In 1843, J.
Skipper was licensed to preach wherever his lot might be cast. He was accused
of being tinctured with the errors of Cyrus White, which it seems must be true
as he “fell from grace”. He was restored, however, and moved to Jasper County,
where he was ordained. He returned to Butts County, and was pastor for several
churches in the Central Association. He was again a member of the Flint River,
but was a follower of Willis Jarrell. He went to his reward about the
beginning of the War. In 1847, W. G. McMichael was licensed to preach. Ninety-
nine members were added to the church by baptism during the fall of 1851 and
the winter of 1852. The meeting was carried on the church and at Smyrna Camp
Ground. The church now numbered over three hundred members. This was the
largest membership the church had ever had. This number was, however, reduced
by forty being dismissed to form the Jackson Church.
The period from 1854 to 1856 was one of great unrest and internal disturbance.
During part of the time, W. G. McMichael and James Carter were joint pastors.
The church in three or four years lost over one hundred members. James Carter
moved to Indian Spring, and the cruel tongue of gossip and slander was
unrestrained in the community. The church showed a fearful lack of decision
and moral courage.
In 1857, Carter returned, and about forty were added to the church. His
ministrations were greatly blessed of God. The church soon regained its old
No church in the Association, perhaps, suffered so greatly on account of the
War, as did this church. Fifteen of its members were killed in one year. The
willows of weeping were at every home. The sanctuary was a house of mourning.
How could they sing the Lord’s song when their hearts were in a strange land?
But even when the boughs of war hung with deepest gloom over the country at
large God did not forget to be gracious. In 1863 there were forty-nine
additions by Baptism. Some of these joined in the army, and they were enrolled
with the church at home. The year 1864 was the one and only time that the
church was not represented in the Association.
In 1868, John Mayo was pastor of the church. He was a child of the church,
having been licensed and ordained by its authority. He belonged to a very
large and influential family, which has always been prominent in the church.
For many years he was a member of the Central Association and was pastor of
Harmony, Mt. Pleasant, and other churches in that body. He died much lamented
in 1871. From 1869-73, James G. Kimbell was pastor. The church was greatly
distracted by the Dickens-Woolsey trouble. In 1871, the church again
entertained the Association.
In 1869, the Negro members of the church were given permission to organize a
church of their own. Under the leadership of Rev. Clark Gilmore the Negro
Macedonia Baptist church was organized. During the period from 1826 until
1869 the Negro members of Macedonia were a faithful and respected part of the
church. Several Negro men were ordained to the ministry during this period.
Jasper Dickson was now called. He served the church two years. He was not in
our day what one would deem an able preacher, but he was what was much better,
a Godly man. He lived at Porterdale, Newton County. He was for several years
a member of the Central Association, and was pastor at Rocky Creek and other of
Union and Teamon churches. He died soon after, in the triumphs of the faith
he had preached to others. The church lost over one hundred members by its
policy of indecision during these stormy years. (See full account of the
Dickens-Woolsey trouble).
J. A. Gunn was called in 1876. He was, for a short time, a member of the
church. He was preeminently a good man, but it was impossible for the
ministrations of any man to be faithful with the feeling that then existed in
the church. This was the only church that he ever served in our Association.
He died in 1866. Rev. Jesse Mays was called in 1877. This policy of
hesitation and dilly-dallying with duty in reference to Hamp T. Dickens still
continued. It was only after the Flint River Association had served notice on
the church that it would withdraw from it for failure to maintain orderly
discipline, that the church could be induced to withdraw church fellowship
from H. T. Dickens. In 1879, W. G. McMichael was called. This was a year of
great ingathering. About forty were added to the church. W. G. McMichael
served until his death in 1899. J. A Jackson was then pastor for ten years and
six months. There were several years of great ingathering. In 1900 G. W. Wood
was called. Rev. Perry Lee has pastored the church for the last two years,
growing in favor with God and man.
This very pious, faithful and able man of God died at Indian Springs, Butts
County, Georgia on August 25, 1858. He was baptized, instructed and trained by
Rev. Jesse Mercer, whom he always recognized as his father in the ministry. He
was born in Warren County on April 3, 1792. His father was Josiah Carter, and
his mother was Mary Anthony. His parents, when he was young, moved to Powelton
in Hancock County, and 1825, to Butts, where he united with Sardis church. In
1827 he was licensed by this church to preach the gospel, and at the call of
Macedonia, he was ordained. This took place at Sardis church on August
22,1829. He united with Macedonia both as pastor and member at once. The next
church that called him was Harmony, near Zebulon, and in 1830, Towaliga asked
for his services. Now, for a period of nearly thirty years, he was service
four churches and sometimes five. He served Mt. Zion Holly Grove, Indian
Springs, New Providence, Sardis Monticello and other churches in Henry, Newton
and Jasper Counties. His churches were greatly blessed of God under his
ministrations. He baptized over two hundred people in the two churches. At
Mt. Zion in 1848, he was elected moderator of the Association, and filled the
position for three years. In 1854, he was again elected moderator and filed
the place until his death.
As presiding office, he was kind, gentle and conciliatory. As a preacher he
was sound, earnest, pathetic and without his knowledge or consent. It was
published, and had wide circulation. It is mentioned in the minutes of the
State Convention.
Though he devoted all of his time to the churches, and never tried to
accumulate, yet God greatly blessed him in this world’s goods.
It was at his house that Rev. Jesse Mercer died in 1841. Dr. Mercer came to
the Springs on Friday, and though sick on Saturday, he went to hear his old
friend and neighbor, and accepted his invitation to spend the night with him.
He grew worse, and died on Monday, September 8th.
James Carter never made but one serious mistake, and thousands of other men
have done the same. He moved his family to Indian Springs to educate them.
Here they contacted habits that brought great sorrow to the friends of their
distinguished father.
W. G. McMichael was, without a doubt, the ablest sermonizer that ever preached
in our Association. When a boy, he had the best education advantages the times
afforded. He had a most logical mind, which was trained for forty years of
close and painstaking study.
He was born in Jasper County, August 2,1811. His parents were John and Ghitta
McMichael. When their son was seven years old, they moved to what is now Butts
County. The county then belonged to the Indians, but with the friendship of
the celebrated John McIntosh, the Indian Chief, they were able to live in peace
and security. His father and mother joined Bethel Church soon after its
formation, but in 1837, they were excluded from that church because of
missions, Bible Societies, etc. In 1838 they united with Macedonia Church by a
profession of faith. The Lord greatly blessed this action of his servants, for
a revival at once broke out, and John McMichael saw five of his children and an
equal number of his slaves buried with Christ in Baptism. Besides these, there
were about twenty of his neighbors who were added to the Lord. Of the number
who were at that time baptized W. G. McMichael, J. H. Fielder, and “Preacher
Pap”, a trusted and honored colored slave of John McMichael, became preachers
of the glorious gospel of the Blessed Lord.
W. G. McMichael had, indeed, experienced a change of heart during the great
revival of 1828, but he hid his light under a bush for ten years. He now took
an active work in church work, and to call on others to flee the “Wrath to
come”. In 1843, he was licensed to preach wherever his lot might be cast. But
he had a very poor opinion of his ability and qualifications. In fact, in his
own mind the decision had matured that he would not. And then the bitter
objection of Emily, his wife, made it easy to come to this conclusion. (He was
so glad she objected). Shortly after this he attended a general Meeting at
Towaliga. The preaching committee, on Friday before the noon recess, announced
that Brother McMichael would preach in the afternoon. He tried to eat but he
could not swallow, his heart was in his throat. “His horse must be watered.”
He rode her off to water. But the wster was at home. “Mr. McMichael”, said
his wife, why did you come home so soon? “Well”, he said after much stammering
and hesitation, “The Committee announced that I should preach this afternoon,
but as you were opposed to my preaching, I decided to come home.” A cloud
gathered over Emily’s brow. As soon as convenient, she retired to the grove,
and what happened in the grove was a secret that she carried to her grave, but
when she returned, her face shown with more than its usual brightness, and her
words seemed to have a strange sweetness. What made her so happy and cheerful
when she was so sad and dejected?
When she kissed her husband goodbye on Saturday morning, she remarked, “Mr.
McMichael, if they ask you to preach today you must do so. If you refuse to do
so because I object, it only shows you have a man fearing spirit. If you care
more for my opinion than you do our Savior’s, you are, indeed, not worthy of
He made it late in reaching the church to make sure that preaching had
commenced. Again, to his utter dismay and sorrow the committee announced
before the noon recess that “Brother McMichael would preach that evening”. And
again his heart was in his throat. Again, his horse needed water, and again,
his horse was watered at home. No one could see deeper than the elect lady,
and no one, at times had deeper regard for others than she did. She had no
inquiries. The story was already her own. He heartily wished that she would
ask him the reason for his early return, but she felt it was best that he
should fight alone his battle with God and duty.
On Sunday, Deacon Evans was on the lookout for his arrival. After our hero had
gone into the house of God, Evans told his Negro boy to get the horse that was
tied to a certain tree, and put him in the stable and lock the door, and bring
him the key. Again, before the recess for dinner, the preaching committee
announced that “Brother McMichael will preach this evening”. Again, after the
midday meal, our brother’s horse needed water. But the horse was
gone. “Sambo, have you seen a loose horse about the grounds?” said the
distressed man of God. “You lookin’ for the horse dat was hitched to dat
tree? Boss took and told me to put dat hoss in his stable and I done it”, said
the innocent Negro. The battle was on. The good man walked in, with apparent
aimless thought. Finally, the Brethren who were in the secret saw the man of
God direct his steps toward a deep thicket. The good deacon, with tears
coursing down his cheeks said, “The victory will be his.” Before the hour
appointed for public worship had come, the form of W. G. McMichael emerged from
the recesses of the deep wood. His face shone with a strange brightness, and
his steps and words denoted that he had “Meat to eat that ye know not of.” He
proceeded slowly with the text, but he gained strength and confidence. Soon
his lack of fitness was forgotten, and as a dying man with a message to dying
men, he delivered what God had given him. At the close, an invitation was
extended for prayer, and members came forward. The meeting was protracted for
a day or two, and seventeen people came forward and told what great things God
had done for them; and were buried with Christ in Baptism
Such was the beginning of his long and useful life in the Ministry. He was
ordained at Macedonia Church in 1848, at the call of Indian Creek Church. On
this also hangs a story. In 1848, the church at Indian Creek was in a very
lukewarm spiritual state. Besides this, there was great internal
disturbances. John T. Kimbell had served notice on the church that his labors
could no longer be secured.
Two devout and earnest sisters of the church had made the state of Zion in the
community a subject of continual prayer to God. Aliens had broken down the
wall and it seemed that the people had no mind to work, all that the Spirit of
the Lord was with this preacher of his word. At the close of the services,
they remarked modestly to each other, “That is our preacher”.
Without saying anything to their husbands or anyone else, a day or two before
the time appointed to call a preacher at Indian Creek, they rode around to see
the sisters of the church. On the day appointed, there was a great attendance
especially of the female members of the church. Not a male member of the
church had been initiated into the secret of the “Conspiracy”. They were at
sea. When the vote was declared, however, W. G. McMichael was overwhelmingly
In three years, 130 members were baptized into the fellowship of the church.
There were for several months, a feeling among the men that in some way they
had been strangely outwitted, but so faithfully did the sisters keep their own
councils, that it was some time before the flashlight of publicity was let in
on the strange conspiracy. But before that time, all were glad. The next
church that called him was Bethlehem in Jasper County. In 1853, he organized
Jackson Indian Spring for one year. Besides these, he served Sardis,
McDonough, Rocky Creek, Zebulon and Hephzibah. In almost everyplace, he had
the sanction of the Holy Spirit, and grew in favor of God and men. He preached
to Union Church for several years.
He often preached the introductory sermon at the Association; and was many
times chairman of the leading committee. He was twice elected moderator of the
Association, but he had no taste for the position and refused re-election.
He Baptized about 1,300 people, nearly 400 of them being Pedo Baptists. He had
a deep insight into human nature, and knew men under all circumstances. He was
not only wise, but he was a great sympathizer with people in trouble.
For clearness of thought and logical statement of truth, for strict adherence
to principle and integrity of action, he had but few equals. He was a true
man, a devoted husband, a kind father, and an obliging neighbor and a faithful
and true friend.
Macedonia is truly fortunate to receive from Mrs. J. F. Cain of Savannah,
Georgia the history just read, which was written by her father, Rev. G. W.
Wood, deceased about the second year Rev. Barry Lee served the church in 1903.
Rev. Wood was well known by the writer, who boarded with him and his family at
Sunny Side, Georgia. When a young man Brother Wood was not only big in body
but in heart and mind and purpose. He timidly mentioned his own name as called
to Macedonia for 1900, but was recalled for 1901. Besides faithfully service
for a long time, he spent much time in searching church records in order to
publish their history with the history of Flint River Association. We regret
that he did not live long enough to carry out the longing of his heart.
Macedonia the next meeting will no doubt express its appreciation by vote of
thanks to Mrs. Cain for the manuscript.
From this point in the century, 1803, we have no records up to February of 1907
while Rev. Sharp was Pastor, but brother W. F. Duke, Sr., distinctly remembers
with others that Rev. Wood served two years in 1900 and 1901; then Rev. Barry
Lee served three years, 1902, 1903, and 1904; then Rev. Crowder Mays served for
one year, 1905; the Rev. W. O. Sharp became pastor in 1906 and continued to
1910, so that during his ministry the records were destroyed by fire in the
home of Clerk McMichael, and began anew with February 1907.
According to the record in hand the committee to rewrite the church roll from
memory were: J. M. King, Mrs. Ghitta Cook, Mrs. Mollie Trapp, A. M. Pace, A. M.
Watkins, J. M. Stewart, and W. A. White, Jr.
The church is on record for paying for Sunday School literature for a number of
years. The minutes of September, 1907 show a vote of thanks to Indian Springs
for a communion set, and later in December, 1918, a vote of thanks to Brother
L. L. Greer for a silver set.
In September, 1910, thirty members were charged with non-attendance. All
during the last quarter of the century up to recent years at least, the church
showed much zeal in looking after non-attendance and on one occasion, withdrew
fellowship from eight members.
In July, 1911, the record shows an unusual deed on the part of Brother J. L.
Barnes, when the church gave him privilege to build a small house on church
grounds for Sister Catherine Holifield to live in and at her death the house to
be used by the church. This house seems to have been late by the housekeeper
for part pay and then sold in 1917 to the highest bidder and the money used for
new seats in the church.
In August 1911, the church voted to build the present house of worship.
The building committee were A. M. Watkins, J. A. King, W. B. Kimbell, J. L.
Barnes and W. A. White. The record shows that more than $800.00 was subscribed
the following month and the next summer with the unrecorded gifts in days of
service and otherwise by a number of members, the committee was led by J. A.
King, deceased, who pressed the work to an early completion and fell on sleep
himself, the house being ready for his funeral. Pastor Jackson highly praised
this committee and especially J. A. King, the builder. The building committee
was discharged with thanks in December, 1912, reporting a balance of $54.69 in
the treasury which was used for seating the house, voting to go on cash basis,
hence it was not dedicated until 2nd Saturday in August 1914. Pastor Barron
preached the dedicatory sermon by request of the church. During the same
summer, the church had a good revival and the following year, 1915, in Rev.
Barron’s ministry nearly fifty members were added by baptism.
A piano was bought and placed in the church May 1917, at a cost of $290.00
In March, 1919, the church passed a resolution on holding called conferences,
viz; ‘That if it be necessary to have a called conference, be it resolved by
the church in conference, a called conference shall be published for two weeks,
and no other business considered only that stated in call.”
The church was painted in 1919 at the cost of $298.98.
It was also during the ministry of Rev. Bonner in 1919 that the church put in
the present light system at a cost of $246.00; the following year built a
cement pool at a cost of about $100.00, and moved up to two Sundays a month for
a while, as during the pastorate of Arthur Jackson, but gave up one Sunday
later at the suggestion of the pastor that he might serve another church.
Theodore Thaxton was ordained in 1920.
The same year about one half of the church took part in the 75-million
campaign, but owing to the depression in finances that came later, only a few
paid up in full and some in part.
Rev. Parrish and Rev. Walter served the church one year each after Rev. Bonner
resigned and then the writer’s ministry began in 1925. After one year’s
service and a fine revival and in gatherings of about 32 members, sided by
Singer C. W. Grindle in the summer, the church called it present pastor
Deacon A. M. Pace has wrought well as leader of the Sunday School but resigned
during the centennial year so we begin the second century with Brother Fred H.
Morgan as leader. Brother W. A. White is present clerk of the church (better
known as Cap White). He is a busy, timid man but the church may count on its
records for the beginning of the new century.
The W.M.U. is wisely led by Mrs. Fred H. Morgan who is doing a fine work. The
union also has the auxiliary societies. Our B.Y.P.U. was organized in 1920
with A. C. Perdue as President and has been in a struggle for life a number of
times, but continues to function under the leadership of Deacon Clifford
Rev. Wood’s history shows that the church licensed and ordained a goodly number
of preachers during the first half of the century, but only one during the last
quarter, namely Rev. Theodore Thaxton in October, 1920.
The deacons of the church are J.M.T. Mayo, A. M. Pace, A. M. Watkins, W. A.
White, Clifford Kimbell, and Eddie Hilley.
The church has a worker’s council which consist of all officers of the church,
officers, leaders and teachers of all organizations within and controlled by
the church whose purpose is (1) to take the initiative for all good and right
and best things possible for the church according to each individual gift and
ability. (2) To seek and give mutual co-operation to every officer, leader and
teacher; also mutual sympathy and co-operation in every department of the
church. (3) To make God’s revealed plan for building His
Kingdom and church their individual plan. (4) To pray them all through as we
pray “Thy Kingdom Come.”
From 1935 to 1939 Rev. H. E. Gaddy served as pastor. Meeting days every second
Sunday. W. A. White served as church clerk until March, 1936 at this time he
resigned. Otho Morgan was elected Clerk April, 1936. Serving as Sunday School
Superintendent during his ministry was B. A. Williams and A. A. Cook, B.Y.P.U.
leaders were Mr. And Mrs. B. A. Williamson, Mrs. Lloyd White, Mrs. John Cook
and Otho Morgan. It was first called Baptist Training Union in 1938. The
first Director was Mrs. John Cook. Church Treasurer was T. E. Watkins. A
number of men were ordained to be deacons during Gaddy’s ministry, they were as
follows: B.A. Williamson, Andrew Cook, E. W. Cook, Bennie Cook, B. Y. Lunsford,
Mercer Hodges, Otho Morgan and W. L. White. They were ordained November 13,
1938. Brother W. A. White, deacon and church clerk, for a number of years died
September 12,1938. A memorial was written for him and appears in our church
minutes. There were several improvements made during his ministry. The church
was painted, a new roof was put on, swinging doors were put between entrance
hall and the auditorium. Sunday School room were added on each side of the
auditorium in 1936 at a cost of $1,300.00. Retirement plan for Pastor was
adopted April 1939. The church began Wednesday night prayer service in 1938.
The church hired Bro. Tim Cook to keep the cemetery for 12 1/2 cents an hour.
The church received 82 members into its fellowship during Bro. Gaddy’s
ministry. We lost 16 by death and 15 were dismissed to unite with other
churches. Our membership at the end of his ministry was 376. Sunday School
enrollment 151, average attendance 52. The value of the church property was
$3,500.00. Pastor’s salary $300.00, church yearly expenses $1,574.33. I must
not forget to mention a very important – electric lights were put in the church
also during his ministry in the year 1938.
May, 1939 to August 1942, Rev. J. S. Hayes served as pastor. This is the
second time he has served our church. The Pastor’s salary was raised $4.00 a
month to pay expenses for attending prayer services on Wednesday night. The
church adopted the Gods Acre Plan and used it. The proceeds from the crops
being used to help pay church expenses. Paid a housekeeper $5.00 a month to
keep the church. The church took out insurance policy on the church with Mr.
Add Nutt, premium $62.50 per year. Amount of insurance $2,500.00. Additions
to the church by Baptism 24, by letter 15. We lost 11 by death and 26 united
with other churches. We had one erasure. Our Sunday School became a Graded
School in 1941. Otho Morgan served as Church Clerk, A. A. Cook Sunday School
Superintendent, Mrs. John Cook Training Union Director, Treasurer T. E.
Watkins, W.M.U. Presidents Mrs. F. H. Morgan, Mrs. Van Jones and Mrs. Lloyd
White. W.M.U. enrollment 21 women and a total of all organizations of 39. The
Sunday School enrollment was 141 average attendance of 53. Training Union
enrollment 41. The Music Director of the church was V. L. Jinks. Pastor’s
salary at the close of Bro. Hayes’ ministry was $325.00. total expenses for
year $1,044.92. Total church membership was 325. Value of church property at
In 1943 Loyd Amason was called and served until 1947. He resigned to enter the
Seminary. In 1944 the churched moved from half-time to full-time services.
Additional Sunday School rooms built, a new pastorium built at a cost of
$4000.00 and a baptistery installed. Amason baptized 64 and 23 added by
letter, making the total membership 435. Sunday School enrollment 145; W.M.U.
57; Training Union 62; Mission Gifts $1,106.72; pastor’s salary $1,200.00;
church property valued at $11,500.00.
From 1947 to 1950 Robert G. Hartman served as pastor. The first Brotherhood
organized and some improvements were made to the church property. A new
heating system installed; the church sheet rocked and painted inside. Church
property valued at $12,500.00. Pastor’s salary $2600.00. The Sunday School
enrollment 156; Training Union 58; W. M. U. 51; Brotherhood 23; mission gifts
$754.03; Baptisms 19; added by letter 4, losses by death and other reasons 9.
In September, 1950, W. G. Adams came as interim pastor and served until May
Walter G. Blackwell called in June, 1951 and served until March, 1952. During
this time improvements to church property increased the value. A room added to
the pstorium. 1952 was the first year the church had a planned budget. The
pastor’s salary $3000.00; mission gifts $1400.00.
Edgar Welch served from 1952 to 1958. The Sunday School annex built on back of
the church in 1953, costing $6,600.00. Some other improvements – a new
lighting system installed, a new roof on the church house in 1955. The
Bulletin service begun in 1957. The pastorium painted inside and out and a
brick bulletin board built in 1958. The Sunday School enrollment 245; Training
Union 76; W.M.U. 58; Brotherhood 25 men and 27 boys. During Mr. Welch’s
ministry we had 85 baptisms and 28 additions by letter. We lost 71 by letter
and death. The adopted budget $10,732.00. The value of the church property
$40,000.00. The pastor’s salary $4,200.00. The total resident church member
352 and the non-resident 95.
Dr. G. L. McGinty, retired president of Tift College, served as interim pastor
until Mr. T. H. Wilder came in 1959. Much progress made during his ministry.
Pastor’s salary raised to $5,520.00 by the end of his pastorate. In 1960, the
Sunday School annex constructed costing $18,631.00. A library started with
about 400 books. The rotating system of electing deacons began in 1971; a
public address system installed in 1961; the Forward Program of Church Finance
adopted and put into practice. The church had the first community survey in
1962. A part time secretary employed for the first time. Our first “Youth
Revival” held in 1963. First water cooler installed in 1963. At the end of
his pastorate the gifts to missions amounted to $2,962.00 for the year 1964.
The approved budget $15,875.00. Sunday School enrollment 262; Training Union
101; Brotherhood 44; W.M.U. 80; resident church members 305; non-resident
members 106. The church property valued at $53,000.00. We had 107 tithers and
the church library had grown to 620 books. He baptized 27 people while
pastoring this church. Mr. Wilder resigned in January 1964.
Rev. William F. Thomas called in February, 1964. On May 25,1965 the entire
church building was destroyed by fire caused by lightning, leaving only the
brick Sunday School annex which was built in 1960. The property value was
reduced to $27,000.00. Total given for missions $692.00. Cooperative Program
gifts suspended for a while. At the end of 1966, the new church building was
completed. The church had a total indebtedness of $125,00.00. The church
property valued at $200,000.00. The church sent Rev. Thomas on a preaching
mission to Alaska for two weeks. We purchased 3 ½ acres of land for
$1,000.00. (New pastorium built on this land in 1968). A slide projector
purchased. Total debt at end of 1967, $144,000.00. Gifts to the Cooperative
Program were resumed. Mission expenditures amounted to nearly $2,000.00 for
the year. Rev. Thomas resigned in May, 1968. By this time he had baptized 90
converts. Tithers numbered 110; resident members 358; non-resident members 96;
Sunday School enrolling 285; Training Union 114; Brotherhood 61; W.M.U. 76.
The church property at this time valued at $210,000.00.
Rev. T. H. Wilder served as the interim pastor from May, 1968 until July, 1968,
when Rev. R. W. Jenkins was called.
In 1968, the Long Range Planning Program as reactivated. The budget
$37,000.00, the pastor’s salary raised to $6,048, and the church property
valued at $250,000.00. There were 11 baptisms and 12 additions by letter in
1968. The tithers numbered 110; Sunday School members 290; Training Union 159;
Brotherhood 61; W.M.U. 76; and the cooperative program gifts $812.00. The
total given for missions $1,946.00. The library grew to 918 books, with
various filmstrips, slides, “Church Musician” records, and “Teaching and
Training” records.
The Housekeeper’s salary is $83.33 per month as compared with $5.00 per month
in 1940.
Rev. R. W. Jenkins was called August, 1968. Rev. Jenkins resigned in March,
1977. Under his leadership 206 members were added. A monthly mail-out was
sent to all members. We purchased 4.5 acres land. The brick bulletin board
was erected. Rev and Mrs. Jenkins were sent to the Holy Land in March, 1975 by
the church. The parking lot was paved in February, 1976.
The church celebrated its 150th anniversary with celebration services held on
September 9, 10, and 12, 1976 The main speakers were Georgia’s Lt. Governor,
Zell Miller, Dr. Louis D. Newton and Dr. Grady Cauthen.
V. L. Jinks was Music director until 1947 and Harold Standard served from 1947
until 1971.
We had two part-time Ministers of Music. Tom King was called in February, 1970
and resigned in February, 1971. Gerald Dimsdale served from February 21,1971
until March 1973 at which time he entered seminary in New Orleans.
Thomas Morton was ordained by Reverend T. H. Wilder and Edgar Welch on
September 10,1972.
On April 21,1973 Rev. William P. Whitlatch was called as full time Assistant
Pastor, Youth and Music. He resigned in August, 1976 to enter seminary.
In 1974 the church purchased a bus.
Donald W. Thurman was called as Music Director and Minister of Youth in August,
1976. He resigned January 11,1978 and left May, 1978.
Rev Maxie Threatt served from May 8,1977 until July 15, 1985 to go to First
Baptist of Gordon, Georgia. During his ministry 58 were baptized and 88
received by letter. The budget grew from $70,000.00 to $100,000.00 per year.
The pews were cushioned and new carpet put in the sanctuary. A trust fund of
$30,000.00 was established for the Macedonia Cemetery in March, 1985. We
purchased 5.8 acres of land for $5,800.00 which included the old baptistery in
May, 1984. This made the total acreage 22.015. (We purchased a new van and a
replacement bus for the use of the church in September, 1983. A new room and
bath were added to the old pastorium). A bus shed was built in February,
1983. A used organ was purchased in September, 1982. Bethany Church of Henry
County donated concrete picnic tables via George Stanfield August, 1982.
A note burning for the church was held February, 1981. The new pastorium was
paid off August, 1983.
Mike Feltman served as Minister of Music and Religious Activities from
September 24,1978 until March 1,1981 to accept a similar position at the First
Baptist of Madison.
Hurley Hughes was called as Minister of Music and Religious Activities July
26,1981. He served until June 9,1982 to accept a position in Alabama.
In September, 1982, Allen Byars accepted the Interim Minister of Music until
December 1982. Gary Hollis was called as Minister of Music and Religious
Activities in January, 1983. He served through December, 1984. Byars was
called January, 1984 through October 1984. Carmen Pritchard served again June,
1985 through August, 1985. Byrd Wyatt was called as Interim Minister of Music
January, 1985 through September, 1985. Beth Childs served as Children’s
Director from September, 1984 through June, 1985. Allen Byars was called as
Interim Minister of Music September, 1985 until present.
Rev. Edgar Welch was called as Interim pastor July 28, 1985 and served through
March 1986. Under his leadership a Building Committee was elected to build a
new Fellowship Hall, classrooms, and renovation of old educational building.
Rev. John Waller was called in March, 1986 and he began his ministry Easter
Sunday, March 30,1986.
During the months of June, 1986 and July, 1986 Ellen Whiting was called as a
Summer Youth Worker


2 thoughts on “Macedonia Baptist Church and Rev William G. McMichael, elder son of John Madison.

  1. Mildred McMichael Hall

    My name is Mildred McMichael Hall, I an ordained minister and a descendant of slaves owned by the McMichael family in Butts county. Our family took on your name in the 1800s. I believe my great grandfather Rev. Wood R. A. McMichael was one of the Ministers ordained around 1869 for the Negro Macedonia Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev James G Kimbell. Thank you so much for posting this information.


  2. sungrist3in1 Post author

    Thank you Mildred McMichael Hall for your comment, sorry for the delay on getting to you, and would like very much if you would join our McMichael group on Facebook called Scots, Ulster Scots, and McMichaels at Not enough research and publication has been done of the McMichaels of your culture like Jerry McMichael who was an early preacher at the integrated Macedonia Baptist church and a honored slave of John Madison McMichael. Post after you join as many family stories as you would like, please.



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