church history

Hawhammock Baptist Church was constituted on the fourth Sunday of July, 1842 making it 180 years old today. The seven charter members constituting the church were as follows: Elisha Coleman, Lucretia Coleman, Benjamin Brinson, Mary Coleman, Celia Sconyers, Reuben and Lacy Boatright.

The first appointed delegates to the association were: Elisha Coleman and Benjamin Brinson, church clerk. The church's first pastor was Rev. Elisha Coleman. The church held daytime services only on the fourth Saturday and Sunday of each month.

The first meeting place was in a brush arbor just behind our present location. This shelter of branches and brush provided protection from wind and rain. Others became interested in this church and on October 16, 1849 Nathaniel Daniels of Swainsboro donated twelve acres of land on which the present church stands.

Hawhammock was one of the first churches to be built in the Swainsboro area. The materials were of the choicest yellow heart pine. The sills were 12 x 12's running the entire length of the church with two doors on the front and one on the back.

The church kept the original meeting dates until the early 1950's. The church went on a half-time schedule under the leadership of Pastor C.S. Garner. In 1957, Frank L. Brinson became pastor of Hawhammock. Under Bro. Frank's faithful leadership the church went into a full-time program in July, 1963. Bro. Frank was the great-grandson of two of the charter members, Reuben and Lacy Boatright.

During the year of 1953, the church built five Sunday School rooms. In 1957, a shed was built in back of the church to hold dinner on the grounds. In 1964, a dining area and a kitchen was built adjacent to the Sunday School rooms along with two complete restrooms. In 1966, a deep well was drilled giving cool and pure water. The communion table in the church was built out of one of the original benches and was donated by J.D. Boatright. Also during this year, the church was renovated and new pews and carpet were added.

Bro. Frank Brinson was pastor until 1970. Rev. Kenneth Jordan served as a pastor in the very early 1970's and he was followed by Rev. Bob Long. In 1972, the church added a new Sunday School wing which now houses classrooms and our church offices.

In 1975, Rev. Louis Pearce was called as pastor and served the church until 1984. In 1976 Bro. Louis led the church to build a social hall. Rev. Roy Gaskin was called as pastor in 1985 and served into 1986. In 1987, the church called Rev. Orvis Crump as pastor. He served faithfully until 1991. In September 1992 Rev. Cail Pressey was called as pastor. In 1993 the original auditorium was renovated with new carpet, windows, and lighting.

The church experienced steady growth throughout the 90's. In 1997 a fellowship hall was added onto the end of the Sunday School wing. A nursery was built in what was the previous social hall. The old restrooms were converted into one large men's restroom and a new ladies' restroom was added. in 1998 Sunday School attendance doubled and the church experienced more rapid growth. The people had a mind to work and to follow God in building a new sanctuary to meet the needs of a growing membership while managing to maintain the main structure of the original sanctuary. We are enjoying this new 500 seat facility today. In the fall of 2002, we broke ground on a new Family Life Center. This building was completed in April of 2004. It added 18 new Sunday School rooms, a full court gym, 4 bathrooms with 4 showers, a new kitchen, a new fellowship hall, 3 storage rooms, 1 equipment room, a large youth room with an office and a storage room, and a 1/8 mile walking track. This two story facility is equipped with 6 exits an elevator, and a walk-in refrigerator. This Family Life Center now houses all student and children's ministries.

From the beginning to the present, God has had his hand on a faithful people. He has richly blessed by saving hundreds through the ministry of this church over the last 180 years. Families have been enriched and the community strengthened. May Hawhammock Baptist Church always keep our eyes on Jesus and never falter in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!