Kiokee Baptist Church

Celebrating 250 years of God's faithfulness

In the 1770’s, a man named Daniel Marshall set out to share the gospel of Jesus to anyone who would listen. “He left the Northeast and God dealt with his heart and his head and put some godly people in his life, including a godly wife,” explains Steve Hartman, Pastor of Kiokee Baptist Church. “They started traveling south and kept traveling until he and his wife ended up in Appling and started Kiokee.”

Kiokee Baptist Church, which began meeting for services in 1772, serves as the oldest continually meeting Baptist church in Georgia. As the church celebrates its 250th anniversary, the congregation continues the mission begun so long ago, which is to declare the greatness of God as He transforms lives by loving and reaching people and making disciples of Jesus.

“I think the 250th anniversary of Kiokee shows a remarkable continuity of the Lord's people being committed to Him and committed to impacting the community around them, as well as impacting the world, through seeing that the gospel of Christ goes out beyond not just the church walls, but beyond the local community,” says Steve. “We're deeply invested in the community, but we also keep looking outward, which aligns with the life and mission of our founder, Daniel Marshall. It's not an accident that the legacy he left at Kiokee has endured and hopefully it shows complete reliance on the power of God to accomplish anything worthwhile and that anything eternal has to be of Him.”

The reach of Kiokee has been great and many churches, including First Baptist Church of Augusta, Sharon Baptist Church, Damascus Baptist Church, Marshall Baptist Church, Clark’s Station Baptist Church, and the First African Churches of Augusta and Savannah, find their roots at Kiokee.

Events to celebrate the anniversary have been held throughout the year and have included special concerts and guest speakers. Patty Blanton, a descendant of Daniel Marshall, serves on the anniversary committee just as her mother, Jinx Pollard, spearheaded the committee to celebrate the church’s 200th anniversary in 1972. “After mama passed away, I found a box of information from the planning of that year. She spent a lot of time writing many letters to people and organizations in Georgia, such as the Georgia Baptist Convention, to raise money to restore and refurbish the old church because it was in really, really bad shape,” shares Patty. In addition to refurbishing “Old Kiokee”, which was built in 1808 and served as the third meeting place of the church, an amphitheater was added to the same property and used during the 200th celebration. For this year’s celebration, Patty is planning a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy at the site her mother played a vital role in restoring. “I'm excited about the event on September 10th,” says Patty. “We'll have actors and actresses there telling the stories of the historical people they are portraying. We will also have candle dipping and opportunities for children to paint and make a model of the old church. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

As part of the 250th anniversary, Kiokee is hosting a history day on September 10th from 9:00am-noon at Old Kiokee, located at 6235 Tubman Road in Appling. This event is free and open to the public. Additionally, the church will host special Legacy Weekend events September 24-25 on the main church campus at 2520 Ray Owens Road. For more information on the history of Kiokee, events celebrating the 250th anniversary, or weekly worship and activities, please visit

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