From Mounds to Megachurches
Georgia's Religious Heritage
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Georgia Press
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I appreciate the help and guidance provided by Nancy Grayson, associate director and editor-in-chief of the University of Georgia Press, as well as the assistance of the Press staff . Countless staff members in churches, libraries, museums, and parks across the state also assisted me, and I am especially...
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Given the vital role that religion has played in Georgia, it seems appropriate that the oldest public building in the state is Jerusalem Lutheran Church, located in Effingham County.1 Close inspection shows that some of the church’s bricks still bear the imprints of the hands that made them more than two hundred years ago. The persons who shaped those bricks spoke...
ONE: Before Georgia
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In 1818, having returned from “a tour of considerable extent in the United States,” New York minister Elias Cornelius wrote to the editor of the American Journal of Science regarding various geological and other natural features he had examined. Near the end of his report Cornelius discussed a...
TWO: Seeds Are Sown
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During the initial decades of the eighteenth century, European powers bordered what would become Georgia, involved in an intricate political dance. Above the Savannah River sat the British colony of Carolina, and below the St. Mary’s River was Spanish Florida. Each claimed at least partial...
THREE: God Is Calling Ev’ry Nation [Includes Image Plates]
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A lone fi gure rode on horseback throughout eastern Georgia in March 1791 to observe the status of religion in the region. The rider was Francis Asbury, a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the “father of American Methodism.”1 Methodism arose following an experience that John...
FOUR: The Crucible of Slavery
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In the final month of 1860, newly elected president Abraham Lincoln corresponded with Georgian Alexander H. Stephens, with whom he had served during the 1840s in the U.S. Congress.1 In the course of their communication, each man drew attention to slavery as the main issue dividing the South...
FIVE: A Racial Pas de Deux
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On the morning of November 16, 1864, Union major general William Tecumseh Sherman set out from Atlanta, which he had recently captured, and headed for Georgia’s coast with his troops. As they advanced toward Savannah, Sherman and his forces cut a swath through the heart of...
SIX: In the Shadow of Jim Crow
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Atlanta audiences were in tears watching heart- wrenching scenes of the Civil War era played out before them on the movie screen, including a nighttime depiction of the city burning. A contemporary review in the Atlanta Journal held that “there has been nothing to equal it—nothing. Not...
SEVEN: Things Are Stirring
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In the mid-1930s, a young black boy in Atlanta discovered the existence of a race problem in America. When he and a white friend he had known for three years entered the city’s segregated school system, the friend’s father would no longer let the two boys play together. “I never will forget what a...
EIGHT: Culture and Worship Wars
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A twenty-two-year-old indigent Georgia woman, who came to be known by the pseudonym “Mary Doe,” applied to the Abortion Committee of Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital in March 1970. She was nine weeks pregnant and already had three children, the youngest of whom she had given up...
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The Civil War stands almost at the midpoint between James Oglethorpe’s colony and today’s state of Georgia. It also represents a dividing line for Georgia’s churches. Before the war, black slaves worshipped with whites in biracial settings, albeit ones controlled and dominated by whites. After the...
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Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 16 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2008