Boasting a congregation that dates back to 1886, when it was founded by freed slaves from southern Taliaferro and northern Hancock counties, Antioch Baptist Church is one of the most striking examples of a religious building in rural Georgia, with its imposing Gothic Revival-style towers flanking a wide doorway. Having acquired four acres for both a church and a cemetery from a nearby landowner, the church was constructed in 1899 by local craftsmen. Every August, descendants of the original congregation return to worship and reunite at this church with a long and proud history.
Still much admired and photographed, the church no longer holds regular services, leading to increasing signs of neglect. Water damage is visible inside and out, and the restrooms have been closed off. Though some financial support continues to be provided by descendants of the original congregation, the fate of the building relies on the larger community to use and care for this unique landmark.
Images by MotorSportMedia | Halston Pitman & Nick Woolever