Rincon, Georgia: Oldest GA Church - Shot Steeple Swan

Services are still held in the oldest church in Georgia. Built in 1767-69, the Old Salzburger Church (aka Old Ebenezer Church, aka Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church), features a swan on the steeple. If you squint you can see a bullet hole in the swan.

Address:
2980 Ebenezer Rd, Rincon, GA
Directions:
NE of Rincon on Georgia Highway 275, on the SC/GA border.
Hours:
W, Sa, Sun 3-5pm; services Sun @ 11am (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
912-754-7001
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Steeple swan on Georgia's oldest church.

Oldest GA Church - Steeple Swan Shot by Yanks

The Old Salzburger Church, also known as the Old Ebenezer Church and, officially, as the Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, is the oldest church in the state of Georgia. Built in 1767-9, this building has witnessed the reality of two of our nation's wars.

During the Revolutionary War this church was used as a hospital for British soldiers.

During the Civil War it was used by General Sherman as a barn and stable. Sherman stored salt in this church, causing permanent damage in its interior walls. At the top of the steeple, there is a swan, and if you look closely, you can find a bullet hole from a Union soldier's target practice.

Walking around the building you might find fingerprints in the bricks on the exterior from the women and children carrying the bricks during its construction.

This church is the longest running Lutheran congregation still meeting in the original building. Services are held every Sunday at 11am.

[Sarah, 02/18/2012]

Although Sherman's troops did mess up the church, a nearby historical marker blames the bullet-punctured swan on a British soldier from the Revolutionary War. And even that is incorrect; the swan is a 20th century addition, so whoever shot it couldn't have been an enemy soldier, Yankee or British.


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In the region:
Forrest Gump's Bench, Savannah, GA - 21 mi.

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