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First Baptist Church

This is the largest church in Thomasville, encompassing an entire city block. The Baptist religion is the second oldest in Thomas County, having been established in the 1840s, after the Methodists came on the scene in the 1830s. The original First Baptist Church was a frame building on Smith Avenue. It was moved to its present location at the corner of Jefferson St. and Broad St. in 1894. The structure burned in 1927 and was rebuilt to face the Courthouse. In May, 1982 that building was destroyed by fire. Fortunately, however, the huge oak tree in front of the church was spared by the fire. This oak is known as the Harris Oak. Shortly after the turn of the century, there was a minister of the church named Rev. Robert H. Harris. The city entertained the idea of cutting this tree down for road improvements but the Reverend’s wife was determined to keep this from happening. Local folklore has it that Mrs. Harris actually took her rocking chair and placed it beneath the tree, where she sat with her shotgun across her lap! Whether or not this part of the tale is true, Mrs. Harris was instrumental in saving this wonderful tree.

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