Celebrating 175 Years

Josh Buice

Yesterday we gathered for a special day of worship and fellowship with our church as we celebrated the 175th anniversary of our church.  Often when I travel, people ask about our church.  When I tell them the name, they hear it and automatically think I’m saying “Praise Mill” or “Pray Mill” and when I let them know that it’s Pray’s Mill—Pray with an apostrophe “s” — they look at me with a confused stare.  Allow me to explain the history of our church.

In 1842, a man named Ephraim Pray settled here in Douglas County on 202 acres on Dog River which is located a little more than 2 miles south of our church’s campus.  He arrived here with inheritance money from his father and setup a grist mill and a saw mill on the river.

Soon, he became burdened that there was no church in this area. The closest one was a good distance by horse and buggy—it was about 12 miles across to a neighboring town.  Mr. Pray decided that he would donate the lumber and the land to establish a place of worship and to plant a new church in this area.

On November 11th 1841, a group of people gathered for worship at his home.  They invited a missionary to the Cherokee Indians named Rev. Humphrey Posey to come and preach on that occasion.  On that day, 16 new converts were baptized in Dog River and the groundwork was established for a new church.

A few months later in January of 1842, the 16 new converts were added to a group of 23 believers who constituted a new church.  Some suggested that the church be named after Mr. Pray, but he rejected that idea. As you drive these old roads around this area – you see names such as Daniel Mill, Phillips Mill, Pool Mill—roads that would pass by known mills in this area. These mills served as popular landmarks in their day. So, the church was named after Ephraim Pray’s mill—Pray’s Mill Baptist Church.

As we celebrated the 175th anniversary yesterday, we were privileged to have Dr. Steven Lawson with us to proclaim the message from God’s Word on this historic occasion.  His text was Acts 2:42-47, and he pointed out that all good things in the life of a healthy church stand upon the firm foundation of solid biblical preaching.  We also had the Foto Sisters with us, a trio of classically trained musicians who did a tremendous job.  It was a joyful day of worship that began with 4 baptisms and concluded with the addition of 2 new families and a fellowship meal with our church.

May the Lord be gracious to our church and allow us to continue to serve Him as we desire to attempt great things for His glory.

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Author Celebrating 175 Years

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.