Primitive Baptist celebrates 175th anniversary



MILTON, Ga. - At 175 years old, the small Boiling Springs Primitive Baptist Church on Birmingham Road is among the oldest groups in the entire Milton County area. Boiling Springs will be celebrating its anniversary year Aug. 16 with stories, celebrations and services.

Boiling Springs is hosting the “Little River Association” meeting, an annual gathering of Primitive Baptists from throughout the Southeast, which rotates from year to year among the many churches. Members from far afield will converge on the Milton parish to congratulate them.

After the split occurred in the Baptist community in 1832, creating the Primitive Baptists, four local men and six women brought letters from different churches and created a Presbytery, said Elder Danny Cagle. This happened a few years later, on Nov. 11, 1837.

“We were the first church in North Georgia to be constituted as a Primitive Baptist Church,” Cagle said.

The church sits back from the main road, looking very unassuming, but certainly not nearly two centuries old. The church sits on about seven acres of land, with a two-acre cemetery.

The original church building was completely destroyed in a hurricane; the only thing standing after was the pulpit, Cagle said. On the pulpit was the Bible.

Boiling Springs was named for the bubbling spring that now sits across the street, where baptisms used to be made.

“Years ago, they used that spring to baptize people,” Cagle said. Now, the church has built an in-ground pool to baptize.

Originally part of Cherokee County, the church and its grounds were annexed into North Fulton when Milton County was dissolved in 1931.

With a congregation numbering about 100 people, the church maintains plenty of activity, with family nights, recreation and passionate missionary work, from Dahlonega to the Philippines.

“This is a very active church and the members are very active people.” said member Robert O’Hara.

The congregation's 93 members gained another 10 just this last October.

“It’s still a growing, healthy church,” O’Hara said.

Ten years ago, the church put together a book and interviewed 10 of their oldest members, asking them to recount their memories of the church.

The eldest member, Sister Ruth Albertson,in her 80s when she was interviewed for the book. Her husband, Brother Claude, made the wine for the church for many years. She recalled the 1948 associational meeting when the church still ate outside and a hard rain ruined the food.

Sister Clara Mae Collet heard preaching, praying, mules braying and the cotton gin grinding all at one time. She said she missed the sound.

Brother Reuben Ball said Boiling Springs has always been and always will be a great part of his life, and he has a love for the church and the members. Elder Edward Cagle remembered trying to help build the current building as a small boy, but he was too young to help much, so he just carried small boards and nails.

Sister Addie-Lee Pruitt remembered when the present building was built and how her father hauled lumber from Crabapple with horse and wagon. She remembered people of the community that belonged to other churches would come and watch the communion and feet washing service.

The church will celebrate their anniversary with stories and celebrations like these, including evening services, Thursday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday services will start with breakfast at 9 a.m. There will be a time to recognize the church and its birth date, and couple of speakers who will recount days in the last 175 years that made the church what it is today.

Boiling Springs is located at 1200 Birmingham Road, Milton and can be found online at

MH 08-08-12

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