The following history of the Thomaston Road Church of Christ is made possible through members past, especially the late Arthur Whitlock, who kept a scrapbook of priceless mementos and notes and the late Raymond and Lily Tucker, who spent countless hours continuing the recording and preservation of the most important part of Macon’s history, the Lord's church. May the memories and preservation continue…
From St. John Street to Williamson Road
Though the Thomaston Road Church of Christ building on Thomaston Road wasn’t completed until 2001, the history of the Church of Christ in Macon goes back much further. It all began with a Gospel “Tent Meeting” in the summer of 1912, which resulted in three people being baptized. These same people, along with five other Christians, went on to help establish the first congregation of the Church of Christ in Macon. They met in a building located on the corner of Church and St. John Streets in east Macon.
With continued growth, in 1932, the church divided into two congregations: Central Church of Christ which met on Columbus and Orange Streets and Southside Church of Christ which met on Poplar Street. Later that year, the congregation moved from Poplar Street to Knott Street in south Macon. As the Southside congregation continued to grow, they decided to purchase a building on the corner of Houston Avenue and Colquitt Street in 1936. The 75-100 membership enjoyed this location for many years.
By 1953, plans were underway to establish a new congregation on Burton Avenue. Construction began in 1954, and the building known as the Burton Avenue Church of Christ was completed in December, 1955.
Southside helped establish and build a new congregation in Macon known as the Shurlington Church of Christ on Shurling Drive in east Macon. It was completed in 1960. The Southside congregation continued meeting in the building on Houston Avenue and Colquitt Street. Brother Clyde Chatman, who later resigned to work full time with the Big Brothers Organization here in Macon and to preach at the Shurlington Church of Christ, became the preacher for Southside. The recorded directory for the years 1958-1959 showed the amount of members to be nearly 200.
In 1961, Southside purchased land on Williamson Road and made plans to build a new building that would seat 450-500 people. The building was completed in December, 1962. Elders at this time were L.C. Clark, George Roquemore, and Grady Wakefield.
In 1972, the Southside congregation and the Burton Ave. congregation merged and began to worship together at the Southside building in February of that year. To accomodate the merger, an annex was built on to the Southside building.The two-story annex housed a large fellowship room and many classrooms which were later also used by Middle Georgia Christian school.
Southside Christian School (Middle Georgia Christian School)
L.C. Clark, who was one of the elders at Southside, saw the need for a Christian school in Macon. He also felt the building should be used as much as possible for the church’s mission. Supported by the rest of the elders, this need was met. On August 25, 1975, Southside Christian School (now Middle GA Christian School) opened its doors with 24 kindergarten students. At its new location on Thomaston Road, it now serves students 3 years of age through the twelfth grades. Along with its after school care and summer daycare, MGCS continues to fulfill the needs of the community and help spread the Gospel.
From Williamson Road to Thomaston Road
In September of 1984, the elders began looking at some property located at 5851 Thomaston Road. Because of the vision they had for the future, the elders knew it could serve many purposes. The land included 52, mostly wooded, acres. The goals included building a Bible camp, a new church building, and a new Christian school building. The property also included two small homes which were used to house various preachers, teachers, and church members until time for the building to be built when the houses were demolished to make room for the church and annex buildings. Before construction even began, the church hosted many activities there, and the land became affectionately know as "the property."
Camp Canaan, a week long day camp in the summer, became a reality beginning in 1992.
Moving to the Property
While plans were underway to construct a new building, the property debt was paid in full. In 2001, building began. In June of 2001, the church began to meet in the gym and by that August, both the church and Middle GA Christian School began meeting in the multi-purpose building. There are plans to eventually build a worship center with adult classrooms.
Over the years, the Southside congregation has set goals and added programs to accomplish them. Education, Personal Work, Youth, Visitation, Zone, Mission Work (in Cuacao, Honduras, Malawi, and Russia), and Benevolence are some of the programs that were started when the needs arose. Our elders today are still dedicated to meet the needs of the congregation, local community, and those who are not local.