“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fitzgerald in Ben Hill County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

First Baptist Church Bell

First Baptist Church Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, November 11, 2002
1. First Baptist Church Bell Marker
Inscription.  This bell was awarded to the First Baptist Church by Governor William J. Northen (1833-1913) to honor the first church built in the Colony City of Fitzgerald. Governor Northen was an outstanding Baptist layman who graduated from Mercer University at the age of 18 and was president of the Georgia Baptist Convention for 14 years. He was president of the Southern Baptist Convention during 1899-1901 and served as a Mercer trustee for 44 years.

Fitzgerald was settled during the summer of 1895 by 2,700 Union Veterans and many Georgians. The First Baptist Church was constituted by 34 charter members on December 15, 1895. The members first met in a furniture store and built their first church, a 32 by 60 feet perpendicular slab building constructed during the winter of 1896-97. In 1898 the church, now boasting 300 members, built a new frame building with a tower for the prized bell. In 1912 the church laid a cornerstone for a handsome brick building where the church grew and prospered until 1972, when the church moved into this complex. President Jimmy Carter, then Governor, rededicated the bell in 1974.

This marker dedicated during
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the church centennial May 21, 1995.
Erected by First Baptist Church (of Fitzgerald, Georgia).
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #39 James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., and the Historic Bells series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is May 21, 1853.
Location. 31° 42.614′ N, 83° 15.811′ W. Marker is in Fitzgerald, Georgia, in Ben Hill County. Marker is at the intersection of Merrimac Drive and Jessamine Street, on the left when traveling south on Merrimac Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 402 South Merrimac Drive, Fitzgerald GA 31750, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fitzgerald Rotary Club (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dedicated to the Veterans of 1898 - 1902 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Gen. Bush's Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fitzgerald (approx. 0.7 miles away); Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Portable Confinement Cage (approx. 0.8 miles away); Ben Hill County (approx. 0.8 miles away); In Grateful Appreciation of The Boys of Ben Hill Co. (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fitzgerald.
First Baptist Church Bell and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, January 17, 2011
2. First Baptist Church Bell and Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on March 11, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 23, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 1,594 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 23, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   2. submitted on February 14, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 24, 2024