“WE EXIST TO BELIEVE AND SPREAD THE GOSPEL OF GOD, TO SEE AND SAVOR THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD, AND TO PASSIONATELY REFLECT THE GLORY OF GOD TO ALL PEOPLE GROUPS FOR THEIR JOY IN CHRIST JESUS.”
The history of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church is rich and full of God’s providence and preservation.
Pray’s Mill was Douglas County’s first Baptist Church, born by the will and Providence of God in the heart of a northerner named Ephraim Pray. Born in Augusta, Maine in 1809, Mr. Pray was in his early twenties when he came to Green County, Georgia, to erect two water powered mills. He traveled to the Douglasville area and purchased several land lots along Dog River, resulting from a land lottery disposing of territory once owned by Indians who had been resettled in Oklahoma. He paid 50 cents an acre in gold coins. He subsequently built a homestead, along with a sawmill, flour mill and grist mill on the banks of Trout Creek (now known as Dog River).
Mr. Pray was a prominent leader in the community. When the population began to grow, he saw the need for a church. He called the men of the settlement together and presented a proposal which resulted in Mr. Pray deeding twelve acres of land, (for education and religious purposes), together with a free flowing spring and sufficient land for a cemetery.
With lumber from Pray’s sawmill, a church building was soon erected. Previously agreed upon as Baptist in denomination, Pray’s co-workers wanted to name the church in his honor. He did not agree, so it was named for his sawmill—Pray’s Mill Baptist Church. The first services were held in January 1842.
In those early years people were baptized in Dog River. The first church building had no heat nor indoor plumbing. Over the years the church grew into what it is today—an unashamedly conservative, evangelical, Baptist church, reaching the lost and making disciples through the preaching of God’s inerrant Word, the Bible.
As you can see, our history is rich and points to God’s divine providence. We continue to live out “the rest of the story” today. While we have been tremendously blessed in the past, we believe our greatest days are still before us.
Soli Deo Gloria.