Exploring Northeast Georgia
Crescent Hill Baptist Church -A Time for Thanksgving
Tucked away in the gentle and peaceful Nacoochee Valley there is a small church of timeless beauty. Crescent Hill Baptist Church is located near the junction of Hwy 17 and Hwy 75 in the Nacoochee Valley close to the ancient Indian Mound with the gazebo on top.
Crescent Hill Baptist Church was completed in 1872 by Captain James Nichols, a civil war veteran from Milledgeville, who also built the nearby Hardman House which opened as Georgia’s newest State Historic site just a year ago. The church was first known as the Nacoochee Presbyterian Church but changed owners several times before becoming the present Crescent Hill Baptist Church.
Captain Nichols sold the church, along with his home in 1893 to Calvin Hunnicutt from Atlanta. In 1903 Dr L.G. Hardman, (Governor of Georgia 1927-1931) purchased the church and Hardman Farm and it remained in his family until the Hardman property was donated to the state of Georgia in 1999.
This small but picturesque wood frame church is built on a stone foundation with many notable features. The windows are a Gothic Revival style, which was popular from around 1830-1860.
Other characteristic details of the Gothic style are steeply pitched roofs and front facing gables with delicate wooden trim called vergeboards. The wooden trim is often called “gingerbread” and the Hardman House and outbuildings, within walking distance of the church, also have excellent examples of this distinctive architectural style. Other distinctive features of the church are the portico or porch with the slender Gothic columns and ornate church spire.
The Nacoochee Presbyterian Church stopped having services in the building in the early 1900’s. In 1921 Dr Hardman allowed a Baptist group to worship there and the church was renamed Crescent Hill Baptist Church. The church is well worth a visit if you are in the area and you can see the original craftsmanship of the 1870’s in the Gothic architecture and the stained glass windows.
At this time of year we give thanks for a church that has stood the test of time and has remained unchanged for almost 150 years.