Established in 1914, the name Magnolia honors the Mother Church founded in 1864 near Louisville. Affectionately known as Sweet Magnolia, this ministry has stood as a physical representation of the hope and determination of the African American spirit. We are a Spiritual Anchor grounded in a liberation tradition operating as a Baptist community of faith.
The Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church of Statesboro, Georgia was organized on March 18, 1914. The pioneers of this Church journeyed from the Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church of Louisville, Georgia in search of a better life for their families. Magnolia of Louisville was organized on May 17, 1868, after the Civil War but before the ratification of the 14th Amendment extended liberties and rights granted by the Bill of Rights to formerly enslaved people.
The pioneers met at the home of Brother West Givens and included the following members: Rev. E. O. Burke, Deacon John Hill, Deacon Henry Rivers, Brother R. S. Givens, Brother N. S. Gamble, and Brother Bill Gamble. Rev. Burke served as Chairman. The first service was under a bush harbor about a mile from the present location. Shortly thereafter the membership labored together and built a permanent Church building on the old spot to the right of the present edifice. In 1973 after 60 years of service, the growing congregation moved into the present structure.
For more than 108 years, Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church has served as a beacon light of hope and strength to many. Indeed, its witness has been a light to the lost and a lifter to the oppressed around Southeast Georgia.
"Black churches are very powerful forces in the African American community and always have been. Because religion has been that one place where you have an imagination that no one can control. And so, as long as you know that you are a human being and nobody can take that away from you, then God is that reality in your life that enables you to know that."
Stacy Yvette Taylor is cited for Outstanding Contribution to Ministry. Sis. Taylor is the epitome of "Never Giving UP!" Despite obstacles, she is determined to make a difference. She leads the Music Ministry and coordinates the Youth Praise Dance Team. A mother of two adult sons, she is married to Robert Taylor.
PASTORAL CITATIONS FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE
Brandon Michael Thompson is cited for Outstanding Leadership in Ministry. Over the last 13 years, Brother Thompson has served as Minister of Music. A creative + entrepreneur, Brother Thompson lives in Savannah.
Sylvia Hayes Tremble is cited for Outstanding Contribution to Community. As a 30-plus-year veteran educator, Sister Tremble has consistently represented excellence in her profession while serving as a shining light for Jesus. A mother of two adult daughters, Myriah and Samiyah, she is married to Brother Michael Tremble.
About the Award
The Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church created the Levon Starling Jones, Sr. Award for Meritorious Service, the congregation's most venerated award, in memory of Deacon Levon Jones who died in November 2019. His service along with that of Mae Helen Jones epitomizes the Spirit of Sweet Magnolia.
Deacon Mae and Brother Jerry Hendrix are the 2023 Recipients of the Levon Starling Jones, Sr. Award for Meritorious Service to this Congregation. After retiring and relocating back to Statesboro from the Northeast. the Hendrix's have become pillars of the congregation.
Past Recipient is Deacon Johnny Tremble awarded in 2020.