Marker Text: 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