Iron Hill Baptist Church is located at 5172 Groovers Landing Rd SE, Acworth, GA 30101. This location can be viewed on this map of Bartow County Baptist Churches: https://goo.gl/maps/9uTux1G4ZvQ2. There is no known cemetery associated with this church. No information about the history of this church is available at this time.
If you have any more information about Iron Hill Baptist Church, please contact the Etowah Valley Historical Society at https://evhsonline.org/contact.
IRON HILL BAPTIST CHURCH
(Independent, Missionary) By: Helen Parker
Original deed records dated in 1900 indicate Iron Hill Baptist Church was originally located on an acre of land at Iron Hill, now within the confines of Red Top Mountain State Park. It remained there until June 1948 when the United States government purchased the land to build the Allatoona Dam and Reservoir project. Older members of the church said the church was located where the Ranger house has been built at the corner of Iron Hill Campground Road and the main road through the State Park.
The church relocated to the present location in August 1948. Services were held in a large tent for about a year until the new church building could be constructed. The property is a two acre lot. The church was a one-room, white, wooden construction consisting of the auditorium, no Sunday school rooms or inside bathrooms. Outside bathrooms were located at the edge of the pine forest behind the church. Dinners were the old-fashioned “dinner on the ground” in the forest, and they were ACTUALLY on the ground.
Pastors of Iron Hill Baptist Church have included: Lee Black, Lent Croft, Claude Reeves, Irving Brown, Wayne Raines, Ervin Tinsley, Hubert Pannell, James Cavitt, Johnny Clark, Arthur Rymer, Thomas Hawkins, Lamar Smith, Steve Kirkpatrick, Joe Brothers, James Bosler, Don Davis, Mike Moseley, and Dan Guider.
My mother, sister and I were all saved at Iron Hill Baptist Church and joined in the 1950’s – my sister in 1953, Mother in 1954 and me in 1956. The church, at that time, was still the one-room building. The two doors leading to the rear of the church were windows. The upright piano was behind the pulpit, against the wall between the windows. There was no baptistery. All the windows were painted glass (the “stained glass” of a poor church). There was no air-conditioning and the heat source was a tall Warm Morning heater in the center aisle, a few rows back from the pulpit. The pews were not solid seats but were made of narrow slats spaced apart. Long services sometimes became painful!
The choir was on one side and the Amen Corner was on the other side with chairs facing the pulpit. I can still see Pastor Irving Brown, getting up from the Amen Corner, walking to the pulpit and singing “Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord, our God” with the congregation joining in to finish the song.
Eventually, the Warm Morning heater was replaced by two gas space heaters. One was in the rear on the right as you entered the front door, the other in the front on the left. Cold days and nights found part of the congregation near the heater on each side. The pastor must have felt like he was preaching to two separate congregations at one time. At Wednesday night prayer service the people would sit up near the pulpit and near the heater on the left. (In those days, attendance was sparse, very sparse.) The pastor would come down from the pulpit and stand before us. This is the way the Adult Class met on Sunday mornings. We have since grown in attendance, as well as having an improved heating system, and the adults have spread out over the auditorium.
In the early days, the Sunday school classes all met in the auditorium separated by curtains. In time, four Sunday school rooms were built across the back. Those four rooms now house the Sunday school clerk’s office, the baptistery, and the pastor’s office.
God continued to provide for the needs of his people. As needs arose, God provided pastors or members who were able to meet those needs. Pastor Irving Brown was a furniture craftsman. In the years he was here, he built a new pulpit, the communion table and new pews to replace the old slatted pews. All these have been replaced. Pastor James Cavitt was a brick mason. During the time he was pastor, one of the deacons, Hughie Cox, who was a building contractor, purchased some brick leftover from a railroad project and this was used to brick the church. Some of the men met on Saturdays to work. Virginia and Hazel Miller and I cooked a meal and brought it up for their lunch each Saturday. The bell tower, which had deteriorated, was removed and the bell was returned to the family of a former deacon, Paul Sumner, who had provided it. This work on the church included two overflow rooms and a new entrance. One of those overflow rooms is now our sound room (strange things come out of that sound room where Nelson Amonett hides out).
During Brother Arthur Rymer’s term we started supporting our first missionary, Lamar and Micky Smith; yes, the same Lamar Smith who later became our pastor.
In the 1970’s under the pastor ship of Brother Thomas Hawkins, other additions to the church followed. The basement and upstairs Sunday school rooms were built. With them came our first inside bathrooms and our first fellowship hall. You see the remnants of the fellowship hall now. All that remains of it is the room outside the men’s room where the water fountain remains. Members, Mr and Mrs Chamness, parents of Richard Chamness, made the enlargement of the ladies room possible with a bequest to the church. Richard was converted from Catholicism at Iron Hill and later became one of our deacons. He is a carpenter and after his conversion, he visited several churches, learned how to install a baptistery, installed it and was the first person baptized in it. With his parents’ bequest, he enlarged the ladies’ room. This is where the rest of the fellowship hall was consumed. Another need supplied by God. (A little side note here: Richard was instrumental in the renovation of the Tate House, in Tate, Georgia.) With the loss of part of the fellowship hall, however, our dinners were held in a very cramped area. We found ourselves getting the food from the tables in the shrunken fellowship hall and sitting in chairs lining the basement hallway. This did not promote “fellowshipping” very much.
Also during the 1970’s, we carpeted the auditorium, purchased padded pews (a long way from those slats!), a new pulpit and communion table. During this time, the church felt the Southern Baptist Conference had become too liberal and voted to leave it and became Independent.
When the basement and Sunday school rooms were built, the men had extended the roof back to provide a shed over concrete tables. This was not very comfortable in the winter time but it did make it easier later to enclose the area for the next fellowship hall. This one was built when Mike Moseley was pastor and during the first homecoming dinner, we knew we had already outgrown it.
Iron Hill has had, and still has, some very talented musicians and singers. The original Iron Hill Quartet consisted of Charles (C.H.) Kirkpatrick, James Castleberry, Riley Walker, and Bob Fuller. When the second quartet was formed a few years later, they did not want to call it the Iron Hill Quartet, so they called themselves the “Scrap Iron Quartet”. This group consisted, at one time or another, of C.H. & Daisie Kirkpatrick, James & Janelle Castleberry, Sheila Kirkpatrick, Sandra Cothran, Mike & Debra Moseley.
During our First Sunday Night meetings, several years ago, we started having the SAP Singers perform. Music was from the old books and singers performing were anyone who wanted to STAND AROUND the PIANO (SAP) led by C.H. Kirkpatrick. We’ve gotten a little more formal and the singers stand in the choir now.
The pine forest in which we enjoyed our early dinners was cleared for a playground when Mr. Randall Chance, husband of Willie Chance, was a deacon here. He had been the owner of a heavy-machine business and cleared and graded land. Before the work was done, he had been forced to retire due to a serious heart attack. Others that worked on the clearing said Brother Randall would work with his tractor, popping nitroglycerin pills as he went. Those who knew him best said he would probably have died if you stopped him from working at the church. Brother Andy Anderson came along to take up the slack after Brother Randall died and was steadfast in his dedication to working at the church. Now we see Nelson Amonett following in their footsteps, spending countless hours working at the church and picking up the food for the food ministry, in addition to operating the sound and video systems during services.
Before our baptistery was installed, the church was baptizing at various bodies of water. At the time I was baptized, it was at a private lake on what was then Roberts Road in Kennesaw. At times other churches have joined us. Brother Gene Robinson, a paraplegic, was baptized in this lake when he joined Greers Chapel Baptist Church. Two men carried him into the lake in a chair. (A few of you remember Brother Gene, who lived on Groovers Landing Road and was later a member of Iron Hill.) The lake has disappeared and that part of Roberts Road is now Barrett Parkway.
Early attendance at Iron Hill was sometimes light. Before the church grew in size, the ladies of the church volunteered in twos to clean the church once a week for a month at a time. The six pair of women had to clean the church twice a year. Six pair was just about all the women in the church. Sometimes it was difficult having enough men present to have conference. We had “ups and downs” as I suspect all churches go through but the handful of people held on and kept things going, as they say, “through thick and thin”.
Brother Dan Guider and Sister Martha came to Iron Hill in January 1999. Much has been accomplished under Bro Dan’s leadership in the past 10 years. Many souls have been saved, new windows installed, vinyl siding applied over the wood portions of the building, a new roof, and new air conditioning units installed. We bought a van and bus to extend the bus ministry, added a steeple and outdoor spotlights, and security system.
A new fellowship hall became one of Brother Guider’s first goals since we had outgrown our previous fellowship hall before it was finished. The church stepped out on faith and God blessed us yet again. Members and non-members alike stepped forward to provide as the needs arose and the new building soon was completed. Through generosity from all sides and the blessing of God, it was finished free and clear of debt.
The remodeling of the sanctuary followed and included new pews, carpeting, pulpit, communion table, prayer benches, new sound system and media equipment. God has blessed us with the funds to pay off this note. We are currently debt free.
A new nursery was completed upstairs to replace the old nursery in the basement. A bathroom was added to the nursery later and a storage building was built behind the fellowship hall.
During the years Brother Dan has been here, we have increased our support to missions. We currently support mission work by Ron Jones (Heritage Baptist India Ministry); Jonathan Edwards (Australia); Cyril Gumbs (Trinidad); Danny White (Costa Rica); Tim Vermaas Family (Good News for Little People); Dennis Bellew(BIMI), and Bob Josey (Messiah for Israel).
Our Bus Ministry picks up children generously loaned to us by their parents for a few hours each Sunday. It is a blessing to have the large numbers who come. Adults are welcome to ride the buses as well.
For several years we had a flourishing Food Ministry on Monday mornings. Several local stores allow us to pick up left over food and a group of volunteers distribute the food in boxes for families in need.
We have a monthly fellowship dinner. We’re Baptists, after all! It’s a denominational requirement to eat (or so we tell ourselves). Come join us!
J P Cox Georgia Bartow County to This Indenture made this 25 – day Thos Alford & of June in the Year of our Lord One Thousand John H Lanham Nine Hundred (1900) between J P Cox of the County of Bartow of the first part — and Thomas Alford and John H Lanhams Deacons of Iron Hill Baptist Church and their successors in office of the County of Bartow of the second part, Witnesseth: That the said party of the first part, for and in Consideration of the sum of Twenty and no/100 Dollars in hand paid at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt thereof is hereby acknowledged, hath granted, bargained, paid and conveyed and by these presents doth grant bargain sell and convey unto the paid parties of the second part and their successors in office and assigns all that tract or parcel of land lying and being in the (21 ) twenty first district and (2nd) second section of said County and state and described as follows: One acre of land near the Center of Lot of Land Number seven hundred and twelve (712) and bounded on the North by the fork of the Webster Ferry and Island Mill Wagon Roads; on the East by the Island Mill Wagon Road; on the west by the Webster Ferry Wagon Road on the south by the unenclosed wood land of said lot of land Number Seven hundred and twelve (712) said land herein conveyed being one acre of land — the legal title of said land is to Vest in the Deacons of the Iron Hill Baptist herein named and their successors in office for the sole use of said Iron Hill Baptist Church alone has the power in Conference assembled to dispose of, control, and alienate — said property through its Deacons. To Have and to Hold the said bargained premises together with all and singular the rights — members and appurtenances thereof, to the same being belonging or in anywise appertaining to the only peoples use, benefit and behoof of them the said parties of the second part and their successors in office and assigns forever in fee simple. And the said party of the first part for himself his heirs executors and administrators will warrant and forever defend the right and title of the above described property unto the said parties of the second part and their successors in office and assigns against the claims of all persons whomsoever, In Witness Whereof the said party of the first part has hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year first above written. signed sealed and delivered in presence of his J R Roberts — J P Cox (seal) W W Roberts, Clerck, Superior Court _____ Bartow County Ga Recorded June 25, 1900 — W W Roberts Clerk
Iron Hill Deed
Written and researched by Amy Young, Kennesaw State University Intern, Fall 2018. Also contributions made by Paster David Guider Fall 2019.