Ebenezer Presbyterian Church & Reverend Joseph Williams Memorial, Freedmen’s Grove

Freedmens Grove GA Liberty County Midway Area Ebenezer Church Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Founded in 1887 by the Reverend Joseph Williams, Ebenezer Presbyterian is an important African-American congregation. Reverend Williams’s headstone, which faces the church from across US 17, reads: In Memory of Rev. Joseph Williams – Founder of Presbyterianism among the colored people of Georgia – Born in Providence Island West Indies A. D. 1805 – Died at Riceboro Ga U.S.A. Nov. 22, 1899.

Freedmens Grove GA Liberty County Reverend Joseph Williams Memorial Ebenezer Presbyterian Church Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing Coastal Georgia USA 2015

“A Chronicle of Black History in Liberty County, Georgia”, by Lillie Walthour Gillard, gives insight into the work of the Reverend Mr. Williams, as he was widely known.

The Reverend Joseph Williams, a native of the West Indies, came to Liberty County from Macon, Georgia, in the year 1867. On April 12, 1868, he organized a Presbyterian church in the building of “Old Midway” church with 300 members and worshipped there for eighteen years. This congregation became part of Knox Presbytery and of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., and was known as the Midway Presby­terian Church. Following a period of controversy over the rights of occupancy of Old Midway-Congre­gational or Presbyterian-the Reverend Mr. Williams organized a group of forty-six persons formerly members of a church pastored by Dr. C. C. Jones. In 1880 the church moved to Riceboro where a new building was constructed with the assistance of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

http://libertyhistory.org/topics/black-history/61-a-chronicle-of-black-history-in-liberty-county-georgia

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1 Comment

Filed under -LIBERTY COUNTY, Freedmen's Grove GA

One response to “Ebenezer Presbyterian Church & Reverend Joseph Williams Memorial, Freedmen’s Grove

  1. Peter Martin

    Brian- Thanks for bringing up the story of this congregation. I believe the base for the marker is at the church on the northeast corner at Crossroads, the intersection of EB Cooper and Barrington Ferry Rd. I’m told the church that was in the corner was moved, and is now on Lewis Fraser Rd. Why the top was moved to its current location would make an interesting story in itself. Perhaps the congregation started there and moved to the church at crossroads. I live on Cedar Hill plantation in Riceboro if you ever want pictures there. Peter Winn Martin

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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