Georgia Historical Society to Dedicate New Civil Rights Trail Historical Marker for Carswell Grove Baptist Church

Atlanta, Ga., April 3, 2018– The Georgia Historical Society will dedicate a new historical marker this Saturday for Carswell Grove Baptist Church. The marker is the latest addition to the Georgia Civil Rights Trail, an initiative focused broadly on the economic, social, political, and cultural history of the Civil Rights Movement.

The dedication will take place this Saturday, April 7, at 10:30 a.m. at Carswell Grove Baptist Church, 1365 Big Buckhead Church Road, Millen, GA.

Speakers for the dedication include Reverend Antonio Bush, Pastor of the Church; State Senator Jesse Stone; Elyse Butler, Outreach Coordinator at the Georgia Historical Society; Ms. Theresa E. Lewis; and Deacon Palmer Lewis, CEO of the Carswell Grove Baptist Church Historic Foundation.

A reception will be held following the dedication on the grounds. The public is invited to attend.

The historical marker reads:

Carswell Grove Baptist Church

African-American members of Big Buckhead Baptist Church founded Carswell Grove Baptist Church in 1867 and constructed the first permanent structure c. 1870. Members named the church in honor of Porter Carswell, who donated the land. On April 13, 1919, the church was destroyed by arson during an outbreak of racially-charged community unrest. Fueled by social changes following World War I, the incident was part of “The Red Summer,” eight months of nationwide racial violence impacting over two dozen cities—including Chicago and Washington, D.C. Following the 1919 unrest, Carswell Grove was rebuilt. To accommodate the church’s growth, an updated church facility was erected in 2008 adjacent to the historic structure. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, the historic 1919 building was destroyed by arson in 2014.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, Carswell Grove Baptist Church Historical Foundation, Inc., Main Street Millen, and Jenkins County Historical Society


The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) administers Georgia’s historical marker program. Over the past 20 years, GHS has erected over 250 new historical markers across the state on a wide variety of subjects. GHS also maintains the more than 2,100 markers installed by the State of Georgia prior to 1998. Online mapping tools allow users to design driving routes based on historical markers, and a mobile app helps visitors locate and learn about markers nearby.Visit for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.

Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
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