This church was founded in 1883. The present church building was completed around 1916. Prior to its construction, the congregation held their first services in a tiny log cabin and later in a rough lumber building.
The Washington Baptist Church is a typical one-room church that was once common in the rural South. It is one of only a few remaining churches built in this time period that has survived virtually unchanged – with no modern conveniences. This church is a modest, one-room structure with double doors on the front that open into a single central aisle down the center of the sanctuary. Except for replacement of wood shingles with metal roofing, the church has been altered very little since it was built. The building still has its original walls, ceiling, floor, windows, and outside-lapped siding. It has no water, no heating, and no air conditioning. Electricity has been added to the building but it only supplies power for two simple light fixtures that hang from the ceiling and a light fixture on the front of the church. Electricity is only connected at the church for special occasions and for homecoming on the first Sunday in May of each year. This church was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage (ARLH) on December 16, 2010.
The Washington Baptist Church is located approximately seven miles southwest of Wagarville, AL in the community of Hawthorn (GPS coordinates 31.345414, -88.089164). See the map below for directions.
Source: ARLH “Washington Baptist Church” Nomination Form.
Photographs courtesy of RuralSWAlabama.