THE HISTORY OF SWEET MAGNOLIA

The Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church of Statesboro, Georgia was organized on March 18, 1914.  The pioneers of this Church journeyed from Louisville, Georgia in search of a better life for their families.  They 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.  Magnolia takes its name from the Magnolia Baptist Church of Louisville, the home church of those pioneers.  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.

 

Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church has served as a beacon light of hope and strength to many during its 101 years of existence.  Indeed, its witness has been a light to the lost and lifter to the oppressed around Southeast Georgia. Along the way, twenty (20) men and one (1) woman have served as ordained deacons including those who have gone from labor to reward:

 

Dea. John Hill; Dea. Henry Hill; Dea. Herbert Tremble; Dea. Gilmore Rivers; Dea. Roger Smith; Dea. Will Hill; Dea. Arthur Tremble; Dea. Roger Gamble; Dea. Wiley Lyons; Dea. Mose Houston; Dea. West Gibbons; Dea. Henry Rivers; Dea. Samuel Hill; Dea. Thomas Hill; Dea. John L. Tremble; Dea. Ike McNeely; Dea. James Eason; Dea. Thomas Tremble and Dea. Levon Jones.

 

Presently, Dea. Mae Pearl Hendrix, Chairman; Dea. Johnny Tremble, Vice Chairman; and Bro. Jerry Hendrix, Church Treasurer serve the congregation.  Bro. Junior and Sis. Guin Lundy and Bro. Michael and Sis. Sylvia Tremble are in training as Deacons.

 

Over the years, sixteen (16) pastors have led the congregation including:   

 

  1. Rev. O. A Burke 2 Years

  2. Rev. W. S Dixon 8 Years

  3. Rev. W. M. Jenkins 5 Years

  4. Rev. O. S Hill 1 Year

  5. Rev. J. A, German 4 Years

  6. Rev. J. L. Lowery 7 Years

  7. Rev. G. W. Carter 16 Years

  8. Rev. E. D. Brooks 1 Year

  9. Rev. S. L. Archie 8 Years

  10. Rev. B. N. Jones 3 Years, 7 Months   

  11. Rev. J. B. Kent 13 Years, 9 Months

  12. Rev. E. C. Climes 7 Years, 6 Months

  13. Rev. William Moore 9 years

  14. Rev. H. Gamble 5 Years, 7 Months

  15. Rev. Ira Hendrix, Jr 1 Year, 6 months

  16. Rev. Barren Lewis 3 Months

 

On September 8, 2012, the congregation called and the Reverend Dr. Francys Johnson accepted the pastorate convinced that “Sweet Magnolia’s” grand story is yet unwritten.  In a short time, Magnolia has reorganized its finances, calendar, auxiliaries, and departments to effectively serve this present age. We are proud to have sons and daughters of Sweet Magnolia including Minister Matthew Lovett, Minister Justine Taylor, and Minister Mamie Morell. We are sure that the Lord’s has got His eyes on the Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church. Let us, therefore, have the courage during this time to rediscover what is In Our Hands and through Magnolia’s Worship, Witness and Watch be the Church of Jesus Christ.

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