Mom is great at researching places to visit and things to see. She is especially good at finding little, out of the way places that Tom and I overlook. When we decided to go to Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, she mentioned that the Smallest Church in America was located close to there. Of course we had to go see it!
When Mom told us about the Smallest Church in America, Tom and I scoffed at the idea. We’ve been to the smallest churches in the United States – several of them. In fact, most states have a church that bills itself as a tiny church. Some states have more than one. You can find an excellent list of them at RoadsideAmerica.com. The research done with this list says the tiniest church in the United States is actually in Oneida, New York with 28.68 square feet.
So we were curious to see this church in Georgia. It turns out that “The Smallest Church in America” isn’t a definitive descriptor, it is a name. This is the name of the church. Agnes Harper, the woman who built it in 1949 called it “The Smallest Church in America.” At 190 square feet, it is not the smallest place of worship in America but it is pretty small. Mrs. Harper wanted the chapel to serve as a place of meditation and rest for weary travelers along US 17.
The church was destroyed by arson in 2014 and local volunteers rebuilt it in time to dedicate it for Easter 2016. The church looks much the same as it did, with wooden chairs, a small pulpit, and a few stained glass windows. There is a tiny bell tower just outside the door. The church is open 24 hours a day and accepts donations. Local pastors take turns conducting worship services there on the third Sunday of the month. Small weddings take place in the tiny chapel.
My family urged me to stand in the pulpit and preach to them so I did. “Jesus loves you and so do I.” The smallest church in America deserves the shortest sermon.
If you are driving along I-95 through Georgia, take exit 67 and a short detour to see “The Smallest Church in America.” It is a good place to stretch your legs and remember that God loves you.