On August 24, 2014, the local Fayette County Georgia newspaper, Fayette County News reported that a group of citizens had approached the county commissioners about helping with the restoration of an 189-year-old church that had been built about the time the county was founded in 1825.
The article said,” The Aug. 14, 2014 proposal, which centered around the county donating a water meter to Hopeful Primitive Baptist Church, which has never had running water, never even made it to a vote.” There was only one commissioner who was in favor of the request. The others said they were uncomfortable with the government making such a donation to the church.” However, it was reported that some of the commissioners made personal donations to the project as did many citizens.
The county had approached the Hopeful Community Club about purchasing the property and turning it into a park. That offer was quickly rejected. Hopeful Primitive Baptist Church located at Hwy 92 North and New Hope Road became a community project with hundreds of individuals and companies pitching in to make it happen.
Another local newspaper, The Citizen, wrote of the launching of the project to restore the church. “Saturday, Jan. 4, was the start of efforts for 2014 to see this amazing icon of Fayette County saved, restored and preserved for future generations,” said Dean Breest, a member of the 1825 Committee to Preserve Hopeful. Work was started at 9:30 a.m. and continued throughout the day until 3:30 p.m. Fayette citizens from across the county showed up individually and in small groups to work raking, cutting, burning, clearing and hauling off large truckloads of undergrowth and small trees from the church graveyard.“ Read more by clicking on “The Citizen” above.
The adjacent cemetery in the back was overgrown and had diseased trees and a lot of unidentified graves. With the help of technology, the graves were located and marked. The property cleared of the overgrowth and rehabilitation of this county treasure was begun. There is now a new project in the works to place a special marker at each of these unidentified graves.
Today there stands a beautiful restoration that is a tribute not only to those who came before who struggled to build it in the first place but also a tribute to those who care about history and its preservation.
You can read about this huge undertaking and see the results when godly people work together and get the job done on Facebook – Hopeful Primitive Baptist Church.
The church is available for many events. There was a wedding there recently. On November 14, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. there will be a book signing held there to launch the “Sunday Meetin’ Times” series published by WestBow Press. It is classified as historical-fiction – era 1939-1940 pre-World War II.
While not specifically about this church, the books are representative of the many small churches that helped to establish our nation. Just as the many came together to restore the church, many were involved with the author in writing the series by donating photos and services that helped to bring the book to the publisher.
Incidentally, there are photos of the church, before it was restored, in the book depicting the first chapter in Book One: “The Little Church on the Hill,” it is titled, “The Worn Out Church,”
The chapter was written years before the author had any knowledge about the church which was only a few miles down the road. What better place to launch the series?