Sharpsburg Baptist Church originated in 1837 as the Mt. Lebanon Church, just three miles east of Sharpsburg on McIntosh Trail. The church was built on land that was owned by Charles Levell. The original church stood among several giant oak trees that were used as hitching posts. The rings where the horses were hitched may still be seen in trees on that site. The first known pastor was Radford E. Pitman who served from 1849 to 1850. In 1878 the church moved to 6314 Highway 54 in Sharpsburg. In 1950 a Sunday School annex building was added to the rear of the original sanctuary that provided a choir loft, four Sunday School rooms and a fellowship hall on the lower level; a vestibule and two small rooms were added to the front of the sanctuary. The building committee consisted of Gus Bridges, Hewlette Pitman and Lewis Slaughter.
In 1976, eight acres of land at the rear of the church was purchased from Barton Realty Company of Griffin, Georgia for use as additional cemetery space. As members shared their faith and the great things God has done in this small church, more new members created the need for additional space. In 1977 a second building was constructed on the north side of the sanctuary. This building was constructed by a long-time member, Tom Williams. The land was donated by attorney Jim Owens of Griffin, Georgia in memory of Norma Jones and Mary Jones Owens. It contained Sunday School rooms, offices, a fellowship hall and a walkway that connected the addition to the original sanctuary.
In January 1982, Sharpsburg Baptist discovered Dr. Watson E. Mills, a Mercer University professor and Vice President of Research. In 1986 two paved parking lots were added, as well as renovations to the inside of the sanctuary, including beautiful stained glass windows donated by church members in memory of loved ones. In 1987 a new organ was purchased and in October 1993 the library was renovated in honor of Dr. Mills, including new shelving and a portrait of Dr. Mills’ parents, James Claiborne Mills and Martha Selma Watson. Dr. Mills also donated 2,000 books in memory of his parents. He commuted from Macon, Georgia every Sunday to preach from 1982 until February 1995 when he made Sharpsburg his home.
Dr. Mills continued to preach and commute to Macon to fulfill his Mercer University responsibilities until his retirement from Mercer in December 2001. He then became the full time pastor of Sharpsburg Baptist Church. A decision was made in late 1998 to construct a new building and work began in April, 2000. The first service was held in the new building February 25, 2001, at which time a new baby grand piano was unveiled. Since 2001, the children’s program Awana was added, a church bus was purchased and an expanded parking lot was added due to the increase in membership. After twenty seven years of faithful service to the church and community, Dr. Watson E. Mills retired as Senior Pastor to pursue other interests especially with his grandchildren and travels. The church family hosted a grand retirement weekend with a banquet and special service in June 2008. Several members of his family and special friends joined the membership in offering many thanks and blessings. The church family concluded the celebration by naming Dr. Mills as Pastor Emeritus of Sharpsburg Baptist Church.
During the final months of Dr. Mills’ ministry at Sharpsburg Baptist Church, the pastor search committee issued a call to Dr. John Wallace McAbee of Fayetteville, GA to serve as Senior Pastor. Dr. McAbee accepted the call and began his ministry immediately following the retirement of Dr. Mills. Pastor Wallace, his wife Nancy and sons Zach, Nick and Justin, hope for many fruitful years of ministry, growth and expansion in service to the church family. In addition to Pastor Wallace, the church family is growing from the ministry of Bro. Michael Elliott, Youth and Children’s pastor, Bro. Damon Skelton as our Music and Worship leader, Kay Samoly as the Administrative Assistant/Financial Secretary and Becky Cates and Katherine Turner as our wonderful nursery workers who love our babies and toddlers.
Pastor Wallace has served our church family as Senior Pastor since June 2008. Prior to his service with us, Wallace spent 5 years in banking and almost 20 years as the pastor of churches in Georgia, Alabama and Texas. Wallace and Nancy have been married since December 2, 1992 and have 3 sons, Justin, Nick and Zach.
Wallace was called to Christian ministry while a student at Auburn University preparing for a career in forestry. Following graduation from Auburn, Wallace earned a Master’s degree at SWBTS and his doctorate at SBTS. Pastor Wallace has a passion for both giving to and participation directly in missions work. Wallace has served in missions locally as well as in Alaska, Illinois, Arizona and overseas in Ukraine. He also loves to see new people come to Christ, plug in the church and help. Along with anything related to family time, our pastor enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, college sports and a good book.
Plans are in the works for a new building to accommodate our growing church family.