A brief history...
Sandy Branch Baptist Church was organized on December 23, 1872, under the name of Sandy Pond Baptist Church, with Elder Hackney as presbytery. The first meetings were held in a brush arbor located at the present site of the church. The early members of Sandy Branch came from Bear Creek Baptist, Bethany Baptist, Loves Creek Baptist, and Rives Chapel Baptist Churches.
Many problems faced the church in its beginning. The war between the states left the community in poverty and families divided. The early members realized that a place of worship was essential to bring the people together and to heal the differences that existed. The faith was strong and there was a great determination to overcome the problems and to build a strong community that was united for the purpose of carrying out the great commission given by Christ Jesus. This great faith has had its effect on this community and has been handed down as a heritage to the present.
In October 1873, Sandy Branch sent its first delegates to the Sandy Creek Baptist Association meeting with Mr. Zion Church. At this time the church had a membership of seventeen. Minutes of the association stated, "A petition was received from a newly constituted church in Chatham County by the name of Sandy Pond. The church was received and her delegates invited to seats." From the minutes of the next year (1874) association meeting, the name of the church was corrected to read Sandy Branch.
There has been four buildings of worship since the organizing of Sandy Branch. The first construction was a simple log building. The second house of worship was located where the fellowship hall now stands. It had a seating capacity of five hundred, and there were two classrooms. The first Sunday of February in 1933, the church voted on a motion to build a new church. At the time Reverend E.W. Byerly was the pastor. Joe Fields gave the first gift of $25 to the building fund. The total cost of the building was $1,000, however, much of the materials and labor were donated. The new building was completed in 1934, and the first service was held in April 1934, with the dedication service on May 20, 1934. This building served as the place of worship until 1954, and is now used for Sunday School classes, kindergarten, and fellowship. It is called the Fellowship Building.
The construction of the present sanctuary began on Sunday, July 11, 1953. Reverend Fred Duckett was pastor. Mrs. Ludie Norwood, who made the first individual contribution to the building fund, was given the honor of turning the first shovel of dirt during the ground breaking service. The sanctuary was completed in 1954 at the cost of $45,000.
The educational building, built between the present sanctuary and fellowship hall, was constructed in 1960 at a cost of $28,000. The parsonage was completed in January of 1962, at a cost of $17,000.
We are (still) a strong pillar of the community. We have many missions and help many people in the community. We are a strong church family. We are people with a purpose. Our purpose is to proclaim Christ to the community, to the nation, and to the world.