Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church of Statesboro, Georgia, was organized on March 18, 1914. The church is located east of Statesboro off of Burkhalter road at 720 Magnolia Church Road. This past Sunday, May 15, 2022, they celebrated their 108th church anniversary.

Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson Credit: Grice Connect

Reverend Dr. Francys Johnson delivered the anniversary message which discussed the church’s remarkable history and challenged the congregation to look for ways everyday to be remarkable in serving our community.

Reverend Maurice Hill, a descendent of the founders of the church, led the congregation in a beautiful song.

Rev. Maurice Hill Credit: Grice Connect

After the service, everyone was treated to a delicious dinner on the grounds.

Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church 108th anniversary service Credit: Grice Connect

Magnolia’s rich history

The pioneers of this Church journeyed from Louisville, Georgia, in search of a better life for their families. They met at the home of Brother West Givens and included the following members: Rev. E. O. Burke, Deacon John Hill, Deacon Henry Rivers, Brother R. S. Givens, Brother N. S. Gamble, and Brother Bill Gamble. Rev. Burke served as Chairman.

Magnolia takes its name from the Magnolia Baptist Church of Louisville, the home church of those pioneers. The first service was under a bush harbor about a mile from the present location. Shortly thereafter, the membership labored together and built a permanent Church building on the old spot to the right of the present edifice.

In 1973, after 60 years of service, the growing congregation moved into the present structure.

Original Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church

For 108 years, Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church has served as a beacon light of hope and strength to many. Indeed, its witness has been a light to the lost and lifter to the oppressed around Southeast Georgia.

“Black churches are very powerful forces in the African American community and always have been. Because religion has been that one place where you have an imagination that no one can control. And so, as long as you know that you are a human being and nobody can take that away from you, then God is that reality in your life that enables you to know that,” said Professor James H. Cone.

Leadership: past and present

Along the way, twenty men and one woman have served as ordained deacons including those who have gone from labor to reward:

  • Deacon John Hill
  • Deacon Henry Hill
  • Deacon Herbert Tremble
  • Deacon Gilmore Rivers
  • Deacon Roger Smith
  • Deacon Will Hill
  • Deacon Arthur Tremble
  • Deacon Roger Gamble
  • Deacon Wiley Lyons
  • Deacon Mose Houston
  • Deacon West Gibbons
  • Deacon Henry Rivers
  • Deacon Samuel Hill
  • Deacon Thomas Hill
  • Deacon John L. Tremble
  • Deacon Ike McNeely
  • Deacon James Eason
  • Deacon Thomas Tremble
  • Deacon Levon Jones

Present church leadership:

  • Deacon Mae Pearl Hendrix, Chairman
  • Deacon Johnny Tremble, Vice Chairman
  • Sister Mae Helen Jones, Church Clerk
  • Brother Jerry Hendrix, Church Treasurer

Over the years, sixteen pastors have led the congregation including:

  • Rev. O. A Burke 2 Years
  • Rev. W. S Dixon 8 Years
  • Rev. W. M. Jenkins 5 Years
  • Rev. O. S Hill 1 Year
  • Rev. J. A, German 4 Years
  • Rev. J. L. Lowery 7 Years
  • Rev. G. W. Carter 16 Years
  • Rev. E. D. Brooks 1 Year
  • Rev. S. L. Archie 8 Years
  • Rev. B NL. Jones 3 Years, 7 Months
  • Rev. J. B. Kent 15 Years, 9 Months
  • Rev. E. C. Climes 7 Years, 6 Months
  • Rev. William Moore 9 years
  • Rev. H. Gamble 5 Years, 7 Months
  • Rev. Ira Hendrix, Jr 1 Year, 6 months
  • Rev. Barren Lewis 3 Months
  • Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson 10 years (Current Pastor)

Experience “Sweet Magnolia”

THROUGH WORSHIP | Sunday services are at 10:00 am on First, Second, and Third Sundays.  

THROUGH STUDY | Sunday School for all ages is Sunday mornings at 9:00 am.  Additionally, there is a Morning Devotion every Wednesday at 6:30 am.  Just dial 712.775.7200 and use Passcode 1065315# to participate.   Pastor Johnson leads an enriching Bible Study known as Hour of Power every Wednesday at 6:30 pm.  

THROUGH SERVICE | One of the most important values of Magnolia is our mission to the Statesboro community.  Magnolia’s members are involved in a variety of church-based ministries and community partnerships.  Feel free to contact our church office at  (912) 587-5432  with further questions.

DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...