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Things to See

Callaway Plantation
Washington Historical Museum
Robert Toombs House
Mary Willis Library
Kettle Creek Battle Field

Historic Churches:
 Church of the Mediator
 First Baptist Church
 First United Methodist Church
 Presbyterian Church

Historical Markers

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church   The first Baptist church in Washington was a white frame building which stood between the present church and the Tupper-Barnett house to the east. It was probably built around 1827 when the first Baptist church was constituted.

There is no definite record of when the present building was constructed, but according to J. F. Hillyer in The Baptist Centennial Volume, published in 1885, the frame building was probably last used for the centennail celebration of the Georgia Association in 1884 and then demolished after the new brick building was completed on its west side.

In 1919 the church purchased 82 feet of the T. C. Hogue property on the west side of the church and added what is known as the Grice Wing. Dr. Homer L. Grice was pastor at the time and is credited with beginning the first Vacation Bible School in the Southern Baptist Convention here.

During the pastorate of Rev. Waymon C. Reese, additional educational space was added to the rear of the church in 1943 and the Nancy Mercer Annex was dedicated. In 1956, during the pastorate of Rev. Law M. Mobley, the children's building on the east side of the main building was added. In 1985 the church added the present Mary Callaway Burton Fellowship Hall, additional office space, and a library, and remodeled the Nancy Mercer Annex to include Sunday School classrooms, a music library, and a music rehearsal room. Rev. Jesse Mercer was the first pastor and served until his death in 1841. Mercer was founder of Mercer Institute in nearby Penfield, which was later to become Mercer University in Macon. In 1833, Mercer brought a Baptist newspaper, The Christian Index, to Washington to "stir his Washington flock and all Georgia Baptisits to action for missions and education" and it was printed here for many years. Mercer also compiled and printed The Cluster, the first Baptist hymnal in Georgia.

The large south window in the church is a memorial to this outstanding early Georgia minister, educator, and banker. The smaller windows around the sanctuary are memorial windows to members of the church.

105 W. Robert Toombs Avenue
Washington, Georgia 30673
(706) 678-2912

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