Last week’s Throwback feature was the start of our 2-part series about Lee County churches whose congregations have held worship services since the 1800s — in a few cases, even before then. This week, our travels go to even more communities of faith in our community, whose history extends back well over a century. We start with the Jonesboro Heights Baptist Church. Founded in 1869, this is church picture from the 1940s.
Another long-standing family of faith is Shallow Well United Church of Christ. Founded in 1831 as Shallow Well Christian Church, the foundation of the church’s existing building, seen here, was laid in 1877. The church gets its name because it’s earliest worship services were held in an arbor that had a 4 foot well on its grounds.
Poplar Springs United Methodist got its start in the 1830s as well — 1836, to be exact. The church traces its roots back to outdoor revival meetings. The church building we see here was originally constructed to face north & south in 1868, but was moved into this east-west-facing direction in 1925.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church just observed 125 years of faithful service this past year. After starting worship at a location at the corner of Carthage and Moore Streets, the church constructed this building on First Street in 1910, and stayed here, until moving into its current location and brick structure in 1930.
Blandonia Presbyterian Church got its start in 1867 in a space at the corner of Wicker and Steele Streets. Currently located on Wall Street in Sanford, the congregation worshiped in this wooden structure building at the corner of Wall and Endor (now Horner Boulevard) into the mid-1960s.
And finally this time around, let’s visit Cool Springs Baptist Church, on Cool Springs Road, west of downtown Sanford. Established in 1848, the original building was destroyed by a cyclone in 1905, leaving only the church’s Bible, pulpit, alter and a few pieces of furnishings behind. This building was erected in less than a year and this picture was taken shortly after it opened for worship.
Editorial content, pictures and research background , compliments of Jimmy Haire and Images of America: Sanford and Lee County, by Jimmy Haire & W.W. Seymour, Jr, available here for purchase. All book proceeds go to Sanford’s Railroad House Historical Association, Inc.