Deadline Extended; Feb. 18, 2011

Mt. Tabor Baptist Church
Wanda Collins

Mt. Tabor Baptist Church

As Forsyth County was being formed, there were no established churches within the region. Commissioned by the Georgia Baptist Convention, Rev. Jeremiah Reeves and Rev. William Manning were sent as missionaries to north Georgia for the purpose of forming much needed churches. On Thursday, August 22, 1833, Rev. Reeves and Manning along with Rev. George Lumpkin, assisted in constituting Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, the first church constituted in Forsyth County. There were 10 charter members of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, and most of them were from Rutherford County, NC, or the Greenville, SC area. The gold rush of the 1830s probably brought most of them to this area. The Church was formed in the home of Dennis and Nancy Carroll and their daughter, Sarah. The remaining charter members were Alexander and Maryann Redmon, Daniel and Celia Martin, John Howel, and Jesse and Martha Hendrix.

The Church property dates back to February 8, 1838, when George Cockburn deeded the first tract “in consideration of a duty to support the gospel.” Shortly before his death, a second tract of land was deeded on January 25, 1847. The oldest existing structure on the property is a sanctuary that was built in 1883. The building is constructed of rough-cut lumber and log beams supported by rock pillars.

During the 168-year history of the church, there have been 33 pastors from many different occupations such as teachers, lawyers, doctors, farmers, and state representatives. The pastor who served the longest was Alfred Webb. His tenure began in 1837 and he served the Church approximately 42 years. He not only served Mt. Tabor, but he helped constitute many churches in the area. Rev. Webb was a very influential community leader, serving as a delegate for Dawson County when Georgia voted to secede from the Union. As a tribute to Rev. Webb, many children during the 1800s were given his name; there are certainly many families who wonder why the name Alfred Webb appears in their family tree since Rev. Webb had no children. There have been at least 48 deacons during the Church’s history, with the first recorded ordination in April of 1859 where John J. Blanton and William West Harris were examined by the Presbytery.

The Church is fortunate to possess the original church minutes dating back to November 1842. From these records, we find family names such as Ledbetter, Julian, Kemp, Hendricks, Bruton, Blanton, Dean, Pruitt, Harris, Williams, Haynes, Bean, Barrett, Bottoms, Wallis, Heard, Gravitt, Hope, and many more. The first person known buried in the cemetery was Mary Ann Hockenhull who died July 5, 1841. The oldest person known buried is Jane Wood Pace Bruton who was 99 years old; her grave is marked with a large cedar tree according to family. As with most old cemeteries, many of the graves are unmarked.

This church that started out in a very rugged country with 10 faithful people has survived and grown to a membership of nearly 400.

Scudder image

Jacob McCartney Scudder (1788-1870) was an influential leader of his generation. He was the possible son of Isaiah Scudder and Sarah McCartney who married in Rowan County, North Carolina, on April 15, 1785. By 1790, Isaiah and Sarah Scudder had migrated to Wilkes County, Georgia. Jacob McCartney Scudder was born on July 13, 1788, in Wilkes County and married Diana Jones (1795-1867) in Jackson County, Georgia, on May 7, 1812. Diana was the daughter of John Warren Jones and Mary “Polly” Tullos who married on September 29, 1788, in Fauquier County, Virginia, before migrating to Georgia. Jacob and Diana had two children: Alfred (1813-1845) and Lucinda (1816-1866). Around 1831, Lucinda married John Floyd Jones. They had eight children: John A, Diana E., Mary N., Mineva C., Henry Clay, Phebe M, Eliza, Sarah, and George. On March 28, 1833, Alfred Scudder married Elizabeth Blackburn, the daughter of Lewis Blackburn and Mary Daniel. They had five children: Josephine Helen, Frances H., Jacob, Lewis Blackburn, William Henry Harrison.

In 1814, Jacob M. Scudder moved his family to Cherokee Indian Territory and set up a trading post not far from the Crossroads of the Federal Road and the Upper Alabama Road. Scudder was a licensed Indian Trader and kept an inn for a number of years. During the 1830’s, the United States military set up Fort Eaton (Camp Gilmer) near his inn. He acted as a supplier to the military and was appointed to be an agent by the state during the time of the Removal of the local Indians on the now famous Trail of Tears.

Jacob M. Scudder served as the first state senator of Cherokee County which was formed from the annexed lands of the Old Cherokee Nation. He brought a motion before the Georgia Legislation that created ten counties from Cherokee County. In 1832, Forsyth County was formed as a result of the passage of this motion that had been set forth by Scudder.

Jacob M. Scudder operated a grist mill in the Hightower Community. The grist mill was located on Settingdown Creek near the present day site of Poole’s Mill Bridge in Forsyth County. George W. Welch was the original owner of the grist mill on Settingdown Creek. According to the Georgia state laws, Welch was dispossessed of his property. In the Cherokee Gold Lottery of 1832, John Maynard of Jackson County drew this property. On August 9, 1833, Scudder purchased the title for this land lot from John Maynard. Jacob Scudder owned and operated the grist mill for a number of years and after his death his family sold the property to Dr. M. L. Poole . The Poole family continued to run the mill until 1947.

During Scudder’s lifetime, he became of the largest landowners in Forsyth County. He served as the postmaster of the Hightower Community and supported the local forces during the Civil War. He and his family were buried in the Diana’s Chapel cemetery in Forsyth County. Submitted by Myra Reidy. Sources: North Georgia Roots: Monroe and Allied Families, Unhallowed Intrusion by Don L. Shadburn, and Martha McConnell, co-president of HSFC.

Military picture

Two days after our country turned 145 years old, Guy Garland Pendley was born on July 6, 1921. All of his youth was spent with his family on their farm, located on Burruss Mill Road, in the Chestatee Community of Forsyth County. That road is now named Burma Road after Guy's sister, Burma Gibson. In 1938 at the tender age of 17 Guy joined the Army. World War II was looming around the corner for America. Europe was already in the full throes of war. Correspondence indicate that his fellow soldiers called him "Peach" indicating that he was the only Georgia boy in his unit. He did his basic training in Columbus as did his great grandson in 2008. As his daughter, I am sorry to say that I only know sketchy stories of these years before he was my daddy. He was a quick study and was promoted to Sergeant two times and busted before he finally achieved that rank and kept it before he left the Army. One time he was busted at his request to stay with his unit when they shipped out. Unfortunately, the other time was for fighting with another soldier. He was a mess sergeant at one time but was an MP (military police) for much of the time that he was not in actual combat. As an MP he got to drive USO personnel and once drove Constance Bennett, for whom I am named. He was in the second wave of D-Day and landed on Normandy shortly after his brother Lee had been killed in the first wave. Guy came back to Forsyth County when he was 25 years old, in 1946. He met and married Wynona Brooks, whose family lived around the square in Cumming, at the present site of Goodson's Drugs. Guy and Wynona's first child, a boy, only lived three days. This was a tragedy to all the families but from what I have been told, everyone felt Guy's grief was worse. I was born a year and a half later but Guy was called back to the Army for the Korean War. He had gotten a purple heart in Normandy for a graze to his right ear but got nothing in Korea for his frozen feet which gave him trouble for about ten years after he came back. I was four when he came home and I did not know him. Guy went to school under the G.I. bill in the white buildings which have been torn down around the "Old School". After more than 10 years in the Army, at war, Guy had some trouble readjusting but was always active in the VFW. He loved a lot of the guy's up there who affectionately called him "Fuzz". His grandchildren and great-grandchildren think he hung the moon. When it came to life he would "Shoot the Moon". Those of you who play rook know what I mean.