Glennville Free Will Baptist Church was created by members of Ebenezer Free Will Baptist Church so that the “townspeople” who attended Ebenezer Free Will Baptist Church would not have so far to travel; travel in the 1890s was by foot or by horse and carriage. The Glennville Free Will Baptist Church was organized on February 5, 1899, with 12 charter members worshipping once monthly. The new sanctuary, completed the end of 1899, was built by B. Bloxton for $120, with the land donated to the church by D. J. DeLoach. The 12 charter members are as follows:
Bro. E. L. St. Claire
Bro. D. W. Zorn
Bro. D. J. DeLoach
Bro. J. C. DeLoach
Bro. Z. L. Delk
Bro. S. C. Plummer
Sis. Rebecca DeLoach
Sis. Ella Lewis
Sis. Euretta DeLoach
Sis. Sula Zorn
Sis. Mattie Delk
Sis. Agnes St. Claire
In 1933, Ebenezer and Glennville jointly purchased a parsonage, and the first pastor to live in it was the Rev. J. R. Davidson, who was jointly called to pastor both churches.
In 1935, Laura Belle Barnard, a member of the Glennville Church, was sent to India as the first Free Will Baptist foreign missionary. She was sent out by the newly organized National Association of Free Will Baptists.
In 1936, Glennville Free Will Baptist Church hosted the National Association of Free Will Baptists and the Women’s National Auxiliary Association, convening simultaneously. The Women’s Auxiliary of the Glennville Church as well as the Ebenezer Church assisted in entertaining these two national groups.
The Glennville Church called the Rev. L. C. Johnson to pastor in 1939. He accepted and pastored until 1942 when he resigned and became the first president of the Free Will Baptist Bible College, which was organized that same year.
In 1950, a general remodeling of the sanctuary included a dining hall across the back of the church building, with four classrooms upstairs; brick veneering the entire structure; constructing a front porch with Greek columns; and a concrete approach extending to the street.
By 1954, the growth of the church required a pastor full time. The Glennville Church sold its interest in the parsonage to the Ebenezer Church, and erected a parsonage adjacent to the church, which was first occupied by the Rev. George Ludwig when he accepted the call of the church made on October 6, 1954.
Minor repairs were made on the parsonage in 1966, including a new paint job on the inside and gas heating changed to electric to combine the heating and cooling systems into one. Also, the church purchased matching pews and pulpit furniture, wall-to-wall carpet was installed, and stained glass windows were purchased. In order to cover the cost of all this, individuals were asked to purchase a pew or window in memory or in honor of a loved one. Appropriate identification was placed under each window and on each pew, identifying who was being honored or remembered. The old pews and pulpit furniture were sold to the newly organized Moultrie Free Baptist Church.
Incidentally, the church budget for 1966 was $11,450. The budget for 1967 was $18,450, with 211 members.
The current sanctuary was built in 1975, including a baptistry and pastor’s study. The old church building was renovated into a social hall with a full kitchen.