Pleasant Grove Church of Christ
by Brad Hayes

The Pleasant Grove Church of Christ is the oldest congregation in the state of Georgia. It began in Walker County on May 8, 1848 in the Waterville community. The congregation was actually called the church of Christ at Philadelphia. The original church record states, "On the 8th day of May in the year of our Lord 1848 the church of Christ at Philadelphia in Walker County, Georgia was constituted on the Bible alone as the rule of faith and practice."

Reece Jones of Cleveland, Tennessee was the first minister at Philadelphia. Charter members of the congregation were: Bryan S. Rutledge, William Painter, Jack Clements (a slave), William J. Cathey, George Hall Sr., Joseph Hall, James Hall, Daniel Hall, George Hall, Jr., George W. Clements and A. Clements. The following men served as ministers after Reece Jones: Gilbert Randolph, Gillum Randolph, G. Witherspoon, George W. Bacon, James Love and Joseph Wheeler.

The membership at Philadelphia grew to near 200 members before the congregation moved in 1884 to the present site in Chattooga County. The land was deeded on September 26, 1884 and the congregation was now called Pleasant Grove Church of Christ.


The following men signed as trustees to the deed: James E. Hall, J. M. Hall, J. L. Hammond, J.T. Hendrix, F.G. Little, and R.T. Ramey. The deed was officially recorded in Deed Book K, page 141 at the office of the Clerk of Superior Court in Chattooga County on November 13, 1884 and signed by George D. Hollis, Superior Court Clerk. The church building is located on Old Hwy 27 about one mile north of Trion.

The following men served as ministers or held gospel meetings between 1884 and 1942: Nathan W. Smith, Charlie Jones, G.B. Stone, J.K. Walling, W.T. Kidwell, A.B. Lipscomb, David Buck, Malcom Hearn, R.N. Moody, N.J. Tumlin, James A. Perdue, A.J. Avery, W.H. Bird, J.D. Jones, Jr., J.A. Setliff, T.B. Larimore, W.C. Phillips, Gardner S. Hall, Jack McElroy, John T. Smithson Jr., W. Fanning, Sewell Hall, S.H. Hall, James Morton, Robert Reavis and Charles Holder.

The building that was built in 1884 was remodeled in 1942. A brick veneer was applied to the original building. A new building could not be built because of World War II. The elders of the congregation in 1942 were: F.A. Justice and J.H. Hendrix.


The following men served as ministers between 1942 and 1966: Sam M. Connally (1944-1950), Robert Atnip (1950's), Conrad Bates (1950's), Clark Sosebee (1955-1956), Joe Miller (1950's), Pete Mattis (1950's), Eugene Pitts (1950's), Homer A. Daniel (1958-1960), Robert W. (Bob) Gray (1960-1962) and J. Farris Baird (1962-1969).

The Pleasant Grove Church of Christ celebrated its Centennial (100 year anniversary) on Sunday, May 9, 1948, with activities for all day. Sam M. Connally, the regular minister, preached in the morning on the subject of "Mother", since it was Mother's Day. Flavil Hall spoke to the congregation in the afternoon on the history of the church.

In 1966, a new building was erected which included an educational wing for classes, red brick, and a white steeple.

modern church

J. Farris Baird, the regular minister, helped design the new building in 1966. In April 1969, J. Farris Baird was the minister and the following men served as elders: Glenn Hendrix and Earl Tinney. The following men served as deacons: Fred Hall, Thomas Henderson and Homer D. McWhorter.

The following men served as ministers from 1966 to the present: J. Farris Baird (1962-1969), J. Frank Yates (1969-1971), Beryl Bodenham (1971), George C. Kreig (1972), Herman E. Lenderman (1972-1974), J. Farris Baird (1975-1982) and Hugh Glaze (1982-Present).

Area wide tent meetings were popular in years past. V.P. Black held two tent meetings in August 1965 and again in June 1968. Basil Overton held a tent meeting at the Trion Triangle Shopping Center in October 1987. The most recent tent meeting was in September 1990 by James W. Boyd.

The congregation celebrated "Homecoming" on May 7, 2006, marking the 158th anniversary of Pleasant Grove Church of Christ. Robert W. (Bob) Gray, former minister at Pleasant Grove, spoke to the congregation that morning and Grant Davison spoke that evening.

As of November 2013:

The elders are Hugh Glaze, Fred Hall, and Dan Logan.
The deacons are Jeff Duncan, Adam Morgan, Jerry Reaves, and Tim York. The minister is Hugh Glaze, who has been serving the congregation since 1982.
Adam Morgan directs the singing.

Brad Hayes graduated from Trion High School in 1986, where he played baseball and football. After a distinguished career in Education, Brad became a full-time minister at Lookout Hall Church of Christ in Chattooga County. He also serves as Sports Editor and Historian for the Trion Facts, and as Vice President of Publicity for the Chattooga County Historical Society. He and his wife, Judy, have two sons, Luke and Jake. Brad kindly allowed Chattooga Photo History to reprint this history and photographs which appear on the church website.

Copyright 2014 Greg W. McCollum.  All rights reserved.