Church Record Book from Harris County Covering the Years 1828-1915 now Available Online in the Digital Library of Georgia

WRITER: Mandy Mastrovita,, 706-583-0209
CONTACT: Sheila McAlister,, 706-542-5418
ATHENS, Ga. — Church record book from Harris County covering the years 1828-1915 now available online in the Digital Library of Georgia.
A record book covering the years between 1828-1915 of the Sardis Church of Christ is now available in the Digital Library of Georgia. The Sardis Church of Christ, associated with the Primitive Baptist Church, was one of the first churches to be established in Harris County, in west-central Georgia. This resource belongs to the Chipley Historical Center of Pine Mountain, Georgia, and has been made available online thanks in part to the DLG’s Competitive Digitization grant program, a funding opportunity intended to broaden DLG partner participation for statewide historic digitization projects.
The record book and descriptive information are available at:
Harris County was established in 1827, carved from Muscogee and Troup Counties, and from lands ceded by the Creek Nation in the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs, and reaffirmed in the 1826 Treaty of Washington. A year later, in 1828, the Sardis Church of Christ was formed.
For the most part, the Sardis Baptist Church of Christ records follow a predictable format of when a meeting was held, who preached at the meeting, and that an invitation was given. The records also contain names of those that joined by declaration or by letter, and those that left by their own choice.
The Sardis Church also had African American members. Before the Civil War, these members are often listed only by their first names and are often denoted as “property of,” indicating their status as enslaved individuals. After the Civil War, the notations change to “colored” or sometimes “freedman” and their last name was often included. However, no matter what race, the Church always referred to a member as Brother or Sister.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the church minutes in the record book become shorter and shorter for each meeting, and membership declines. This is probably due to the establishment of other churches nearby and the increased reliability of roads and transportation.
Although the Sardis church no longer exists, the church record book is a valuable tool for both those researching Primitive Baptists in regions other than the wiregrass region of Georgia or for those researching very early Georgia churches.
Malinda Brooks, a member of the board of directors of the Chipley Historical Center, notes:
“Personally, I have used the Sardis minutes in preparation of two published family genealogy books…Researchers are excited to find out when their family members entered and exited the Sardis membership, including the death dates of some members. These death dates, especially those that have not been found elsewhere, are treasures to researchers. Most recently, a woman researching her family for her Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) membership application was able to find ancestors in the Sardis record book which helped strengthen her DAR research, especially given that the DAR was unable to track the correct ancestor.”
Featured image:
Title: Record book of the Sardis Church of Christ
(attachment: chipley_scc_sard_Page_005.jpg)
About the Chipley Historical Center of Pine Mountain

The Chipley Historical Center is located in Pine Mountain, Georgia next to City Hall in the original city hall building, built just after the turn of the twentieth century, and still contains the original jail cells. Learn more at the Chipley Historical Center’s web site at
About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project. Visit the DLG at

Registration open for Conservation Enclosures for Libraries and Archives

UPDATE: Georgia Archives Spring Book and Paper Conservation/Preservation Workshop Series

Registration open for Conservation Enclosures for Libraries and Archives

Date: June 12 – 14, 2020
Fees: $350
Location: Georgia Archives, Morrow, GA (Greater Atlanta)
Registration deadline: June 5, 2020
Registration fees include all materials, and lunch and snacks will be provided.
Should the minimum number of attendees not be met by the registration deadline, the workshop will be postponed and the attendees refunded if they wish to cancel their registration.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are implementing additional health and safety measures to protect the workshop attendees and staff. These include:

  • ·       Reducing the maximum workshop capacity to 10 people to ensure a 6-foot distance between persons and individual work areas.
  • ·       Increasing cleaning and disinfection of all the workshop spaces and surfaces.
  • ·       Limiting sharing of work areas to an absolute minimum and cleaning the surfaces between use.
  • ·       Requesting attendees to bring and wear face masks for the duration of the workshop.
  • ·       Requiring all workshop staff and assistants to follow CDC hygiene and social distancing guidelines and to wear face masks.
  • ·       Requiring hand washing upon entry for all persons.
  • ·       Providing individual pre-packaged lunches and snacks.
  • ·       Including video projection for demonstrations.
  • ·       Prohibiting sharing of tools and materials.
  • ·       Prohibiting non-workshop persons access to the workshop areas.
For more information or if you have any concerns please contact Sigourney Smuts at
Registration is open for the other postponed workshops, which will be rescheduled for later in 2020 with additional health and safety measures. 

  • ·       Preservation Management for Cultural Heritage Institutions – $200 – date to be determined
  • ·       Introduction to Paper Conservation – $350 – date to be determined
  • ·       Book Conservation for Circulating and Reference Collections – $350 – date to be determined
A discounted price of $1050 is available for registering for all four workshops.
Location: Georgia Archives, Morrow, GA (Greater Atlanta)
For more information please contact Sigourney Smuts at

Call for GHRAC Awards Nominations

Reward Excellent Work in Archives
Call for GHRAC Awards Nominations
Morrow, GA, April 9, 2020 – Do you know someone who has done outstanding work using, preserving, or making historical records more accessible?  Think about the historical or genealogical society, library, museum, county or municipal government, researcher, local historian, educator or student.  The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) wants to encourage and reward their exceptional efforts. 
The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) established the Outstanding Archives Awards Program in 2003 to recognize outstanding efforts in archives and records work in Georgia. By publicly recognizing excellent achievements, the Board strives to inspire others. Hundreds of organizations and individuals play a significant role in the preservation of our state’s documentary heritage. 
GHRAC has twelve different award categories for individuals and organizations. Award recipients will be honored at the Georgia Archives by the GHRAC Board at a ceremony during Archives Month in October. Nominations may be submitted through June 1. Nominations must be postmarked on or before June 1, 2020.  
All of the following are eligible for an award. (You may nominate your own organization.)  
  • local governments, courts, school systems, state agencies, and institutions
  • historical records repositories, historical societies, libraries, and museums
  • educators, students, and researchers
  • legislators and government officials
  • individuals and organizations who support archives and records management
  • specialized subject societies in related fields such as oral history, genealogy, folklore, archaeology, business history, etc.

Information about the GHRAC Awards Program is located on the website of the Georgia Archives, On the homepage, type “GHRAC” in the search bar. You can then click on the link to the “GHRAC Awards Program.” Here you will find the links for the Nomination Form and instructions, the Award Categories and Selection Criteria for all 12 awards categories, and a list of all prior award recipients.
A nomination package consists of the one-page nomination form (please provide all requested contact information), a 500-word summary or project description, a copy of the work itself, and any supporting documentation necessary to appropriately portray the complete work (in the case of a project which includes an exhibit, a website, or an audiovisual, instructional, service, or performance component). Please note requirements in the appropriate selection criteria for nominations.
If submitted electronically, one copy of the nomination package should be emailed to: If submitted as hard copy, seven (7) complete nomination packages should be sent to: GHRAC, Georgia Archives 5800 Jonesboro Rd. Morrow, GA 30260 [Copies will not be returned.] Nominators should pay particular attention to the following requirements: 1. Georgia students who research and write in an area other than Georgia history or a Georgia subject must use the resources of Georgia records repositories to qualify for these awards. 2. A letter of support from a professor, teacher, adviser, or other appropriate representative of an organization or institution must accompany students who nominate themselves or are nominated by a family member. Award recipients are typically notified in August or September, and the annual GHRAC Awards Reception and Ceremony are held at the Georgia Archives in October.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get involved and shine the spotlight on the organizations and individuals all across Georgia who are dedicated to preserving and sharing our history, and improving our record keeping. 
For additional information, please contact GHRAC by phone at 678-364-3806, or email