Tuesday, September 22, 2009



The members of the First Christian Church of Dublin begin their celebration of the 100th anniversary of their church this month. One hundred years ago, Dublin and Laurens County’s churches were almost exclusively Baptist and Methodist. With the rapid influx of new citizens, new denominations of churches began to appear. Among those new churches were the Disciples of Christ, who called their church the Christian Church.

The Christian Church originated in Pennsylvania in the first decade of the Nineteenth Century. Rev. Thomas Campbell, a Presbyterian minister, founded the church, which was based on more acceptance of other denominations of the Christian faith. Rev. Thomas M. Harris, who left the Methodist Church, led the
formation of several Christian churches in our area.

On August 1, 1898, a little more than one hundred years ago, those subscribing to the doctrines of the Christian Church met for a revival on the grounds of the old City Hall and old Masonic Lodge, the present site of Dublin’s City Hall.

Another written history of the church states that the revival was held in a tent in the area where the main office of the Farmers and Merchants Bank is now located. The revival was led by Rev. E.W. Pease. What followed was the organization of the First Christian Church of Dublin, which was led by Rev. E.L. Shellnut, who organized more Christian churches in Georgia than any other man. E.J. Holland was chosen as the first Elder of the Church. The founding deacons were N.B. Rawls and H.T. Jordan. The charter members of the Church were Mr. and Mrs. E.F. Bailey, Mr. and Mrs. James B. Hicks, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hicks, Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Holland, Mr. and Mrs. H.T. Jordan, Mrs. A.M. Prince, Lyda and Sherman Price, Mr. and Mrs. N.B. Rawls, Mrs. J.T. Smith, Mrs. M.A. Smith, and Mrs. A.T. Summerlin. James B. Hicks was elected clerk, and T.B. Hicks was chosen as the first church treasurer.
The first meetings were held in the then new Masonic Lodge, which was located in the second story of the building now occupied by Dublin Appliance Company (Dublin Courier Herald, 2009). Rev. S.P. Spigel served as a temporary minister. Meetings were later held in the meeting halls on the second floor of the Henry Building at 101 W. Jackson Street and in Christ Episcopal Church.

The members of the church began to look around for sites on which to build their new church. They chose a prime site on North Jefferson Street at its intersection with Gaines Street on the very edge of the commercial downtown area.

Today the site is occupied by Knight State Bank. In 1908, a new church building was completed. The new church (see picture) was constructed out of hydraulic stone. While small in stature, it was a handsome structure. Rev. Allen Wilson preached the first revival in the church. Fifty seven-new members joined the
Christian Church that day.

The secret to the success of any church is dedication and hard work by its members. Among the early members of the church, in addition to those mentioned above, were E.F. Bailey, H.T. Jordan, G.W. Johnson, B.F. Shepard, Grat Holt, J.J. Jordan, H.E. Williams, Dr. H.T. Hodges, Claude H. Jones, Otis Rawls, Jeff Proctor, T.H. Black, Dr. J.M. Page, J.F. Mullis, Doyle C. Knight, Joe Underwood, Dr. E.H.
Maynard, L.O. Beacham, George L. Hughes, B.L. Collins, S.F. Coffin, J.D. Tharpe,  J.A. Rachels, Mary Smith, Mrs. John Williams, Mrs. J.A. Rachels, Winnie McPherson, Mrs. E.F. Bailey, Mrs. Tom Smith, Mrs. J.D. Tharpe, Mrs. Doyle Knight, Mrs. L.L. Porter, Mrs. M.A. Shewmake, Mrs. H.W. Jordan, Mrs. B.L. Tingle, Mrs. B.W. Johnson, Mrs. I.G. Prim, Mrs. C.H. Jones, Mrs. Gratt Holt, and Mrs. T.K. Tharpe.

The church was blessed early and for many years with faithful and hard-working women. Mrs. Margaret Rowe Hicks, wife of T.B. Hicks, was the first deaconess of the church. Mrs. James J. Jordan, the former Miss Mary Will Rachels, was the second deaconess of the church and the first woman in Laurens County to
exercise her right to vote when women were first allowed to vote in the 1920s. Other women serving on the board of deacons during the early years of the church were Mrs. T.K. Tharpe, Mrs. H.T. Hodges, Miss Florie Mae Hodges, Mrs. H.H. Ervin, Sr., Mrs. H.B. Wimberly, Mrs. I.G. Primm, and Mrs. M.A. Shewmake. In 1909, Mrs. H.M. Kirke and Mrs. J.J. Jordan were the first women from the church to serve as delegates to the Georgia state convention. Dorothy Hicks Ross, granddaughter of two of the church’s founders, Mr. and Mrs. T.B. Hicks, has been a member of the church for nearly eight decades.

The first permanent pastor of the church was Dr. Thomas L. Harris of Wrightsville. Dr. Harris, son of pioneer minister Thomas M. Harris, was a remarkable man. He practiced law and medicine and served as a minister, all at the same time. Following Dr. Tom Harris, the pastors of the Christian Church have been
P.H. Mears (1901-3), B.H. Morris (1903-5), George W. Mullins (1905-6), Virgil W. Wallace (1906-8; the first full time pastor), W.A. Cossaboom (1908-11), Charles S. Jackson (1911-12), W.F. Mott (1913-7), John W. Tyndall (1918-21), W.E. Abernathy, E.W. Sears, James A. Moore (1922-1925), Dr. E.L. Tiffany (1925-26), W.F. Mott (1926-29), James Lawson (1930), E.E. Sharpe (1931), Robert Bennett (1932-43),
Olin E. Fox (1946-49), Edward S. Reese (1949-51), Barney L. Stephens (1951-53), J. Gordon Hooten (1953-57), Robert A. Ferguson (1957-62), O.G. Gilbert (1962), Maurice Byers (1962-63), James Sitton (1964-69), William I. Jordan (1969-1983), Carl J. Brame, Jr. (1983-89), Mark Poindexter (1989-91), Emmett T. Carroll (1993-94), and William W. Glasson, Sr. (1994- to the present.) O.G. Gilbert, a native of
Dublin preached for fifty years before coming to Dublin to serve as an interim pastor in 1962. Rev. William I. Jordan, a former chaplain in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, served as pastor for fourteen years, the longest service in the history of the church.

During the pastorate of Rev. Mears, the Ladies Aid Society and the Christian Women’s Board of Missions was organized. During the pastorate of Dr. John W. Tyndall, membership soared to eight hundred and twelve. It had only been one hundred and fifty at the beginning of the decade. The little church was packed
nearly every Sunday.

In the late 1950s, the church building became outdated and too small. The first service at new church on the corner of Mimosa and Woodrow Streets was held on November 27, 1960. Rev. Charles L. Newby of Columbus was in charge of the services. One part of the beauty of the old church was the stained glass windows.

Two of the old windows were saved and installed in the new church building at the back of the sanctuary, facing the pulpit.

Saturday, September 5, 2009



One might call Dublin the "Presidential City." When the town began naming its streets, it first honored the presidents. Other patriots such as Benjamin Franklin, Francis Marion, and Col. John Laurens (changed to Lawrence) were honored. There were generic names like Columbia, Union, and River. The remaining streets were named for military heroes of the early 19th century. Gaines St. may have been named for George Gaines, an early ferry owner. However, it is most likely that it was named for Gen. Edmund Pendleton Gaines who served in the War of 1812 and was one of the leaders in the defense of Georgia during the Indian Wars of 1818. The tradition continued during the early years of the 20th century.

Streets in Dublin have been named for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, U.S. Grant, James Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt. There was a Cleveland St. which was later rerouted and became Mary St. Academy Ave. had its name changed to Wilson Ave. for a few days following World War I. Hester Dr. was formerly known as Roosevelt St., which was named in honor of Theodoore Roosevelt. ( There are Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton Streets, but none of them are named for the presidents. )

Truxton, Bainbridge, Rodgers, and Decatur are not really household names. These Dublin streets were named for naval heroes of the early 19th century. Commodore Thomas Truxton brought the American navy on a par with the French and the British navies during the naval battles with the French in the Caribbean around the turn of the 19th century. Truxton, commanding the "Constellation," captured the French frigates "Insurgente" and "La Vengance" and won the hearts of the American people. William Bainbridge was a one time commander of the frigate "Constitution." Bainbridge gained fame for his bravery and gallantry in the war with Tripoli. Commodore John Rodgers served as executive officer of the "Constellation" under Truxton. He captained a ship in the War of 1812. Rodgers served as President of the Navy Board of Commissioners from 1815 to 1824 and 1827 to 1838. Stephen Decatur, a commodore in the navy, was a hero of the War of 1812 and became even more famous after his death in a duel with a fellow officer. Schley St., which runs into West Moore St., was named for Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, hero of the Spanish-American War. Dewey St., was named in honor of Adm. George Dewey, another hero of Spanish-American War.

In the Scottsville neighborhood of northeastern Dublin, Streets were named after late 19th century presidents and several of the United States. State streets which lined the old grounds of the Dublin Furniture Manufacturing Company are Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Many Dublin streets are named after well known Dublin residents or national figures. Akerman St. was named for Alex Akerman, former Dublin lawyer and federal prosecutor. Arnau St. was named in honor of Dublin banker, Albert R. Arnau. Brantley St. was the street which ran by the home of banker and businessman, C.W. Brantley. Calhoun St. was named in memory of John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who served in Congress and as Vice President of the United States in 1820s. Joel T. Coney, planter and state representative was honored with a street bearing his name. Dudley St. is probably named for H.H. Dudley, the leading businessman of the Black community in the 20th century.

Fred's Lane is named for Fred Bell, the developer of the subdivision. Garner Street is probably named for John Garner, Vice President in the administration of Franklin Roosevelt. Geffcken St. is named for area resident W.F. Geffcken. Mary St. is named after Mary Wolfe, the wife of John B. Wolfe and the woman who developed the land in the area. Moore Street is named after the family of Freeman and Mary Moore, who owned the land in that area. Outler Street was named for one or both Outler Brothers, J.M. and W.B.. Prince and Mincey Streets are named after J.D. Prince and James Mincey, members of the family who developed that area of town.

The Rev. W.S. Ramsay was honored with the naming of the street (the street sign is wrong) which adjoined his home. Rev. Ramsay was a former Confederate officer, founding Laurens County School Superintendent, and long time Baptist minister. Rice Ave. is named for Capt. W.B. Rice, renowned planter, banker, and businessman, who owned the farm where the V.A. Hospital now stands. Rowe St. was named for planter, merchant, legislator, and Confederate Captain T.H. Rowe. Rutland St. is named after the Rutland family who lived in the area.

Saxon St. was named by T. H. Rowe in honor of his wife's middle name. J.D. Smith named a street in his own honor when he developed his "Quality Hill" Subdivision in southern Dublin. Stonewall St., which was originally known as Stanley Ave., was named for the beloved Southern general, T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Thompson St., the narrowest street in Dublin, was named for Rev. George C. Thompson, long time Methodist minister and the building architect of the Golden Era of Dublin. Tucker St. was named by the children of Ella Tucker Stubbs in honor of their mother. Wheeler St. is probably named after another Confederate general, Joseph Wheeler. Wolfe Street is named after the Wolfe family who developed the area in northeastern Dublin.
Some street names were chosen from books or just from the developer's fancy.

Some like Brookwood and Hillcrest are named for the topography of their area. Bellevue is a contraction of a phrase meaning "beautiful view." Over the years, street names have changed. In the celebration following man's landing on the moon, the City came close to renaming Shamrock Drive to Armstrong Drive in honor of Neil Armstrong. Future streets were going to be named for crew mates, Aldrin and Collins. There will be more articles on our street names and roads to come.