Our History


It is believed that the St. Smyrna Baptist Church was organized in the year of 1883.  It has been said that our forefathers from Meriwether County said "Let us build a church" and it was so.  The first church was believed to have been a bush harbor and later on constructed to a church of wood. The exact location of the original church is unknown.  According to history, the first pastor was the Rev. William Sims.  Some of the deacons at that time were Deacon Brown Bell, Deacon Anthony Bell, Deacon Joe Bell, Deacon Will Morrow and Deacon Bob Hayes.  These were gallant members who were called junior deacons at that time.

Our first church was destroyed by fire in 1941.  At some point in time the church location was changed to 1129 Bruce Jackson Road.  The construction of this church began under the leadership of Rev. Paul Coleman and later completed under the leadership of Rev. J. W. Causby.  This building was later destroyed by fire in 1962.  Rev. M. L. Sewell was the pastor at that time and services were conducted at one of the neighboring churches, the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church.

Once again construction was underway for a new and larger church to accommodate a growing church family.  Members of Saint Smyrna marched into the new church building (1129 Bruce Jackson Road) in 1965.  Rev. M.L. Sewell was still the pastor.  The final stage of completion was in 1977 under the leadership of Rev. M. Brantley.

St. Smyrna has gone through a number of changes in leadership over the years.  Those who served as pastors of St. Smyrna following our first pastor, Rev. William Sims, are believed to have served in the following order, dates are unknown; Rev. Kester, Rev. D.A. Smith, Rev. Morgan, Rev. W. M. Amos, Rev. George Duke, Rev. William Hill, Rev. Ed Person, Rev. David Lassater, Rev. Trice, Rev. Heflin, Rev. Favors, Rev. J. C. Ashford, Rev. Sylvester, Rev. Hunter, Rev. Paul Coleman, Rev. Causby, Rev. M. L. Sewell, Rev. M. Brantley, Rev. Eddie L. Collier, Rev. Robert L. Chapman, and Rev. Verlyn Styles.

In February 1995, we were blessed to have Pastor J.W. Russell Jr., come to teach, lead and guide us to salvation.  Pastor and First Lady Russell showed us the meaning of "God's unconditional and never changing love".  We were truly blessed to have them.  Our church grew with an active membership of approximately 350 and 41 ministries which included BOSS (Brothers of St. Smyrna), WOW (Women of Worship), Youth Unlimited, Music (Sanctuary, Youth, Women and Men's Choirs); Ushers and Greeters, Life, Boyz to Men, DOLLS (Daughters of the Loving Living Savior); GEMS (Girls Empowered Mentally and Spiritually); Theatrical, Marriage, Dance, Softball, and Intercessory Prayer to name a few.  Under Pastor Russell, we moved into our new sanctuary in December 2007, located at 68 Heery Road, Newnan, GA.  It has over 24,000 sq. ft. and is situated on almost 7 acres.

On August 26, 2011, our beloved pastor succumbed to pancreatic cancer and transitioned to live with the Lord.  The church mourned Pastor Russell's death but did not linger to go in prayer for a new leader.  A Pastoral Selection Committee was formed and our current Pastor, 24 year old Pastor Tamarkus T. Cook, was called on January 14, 2012.  Pastor Cook and First Lady Brittany (along with Markus, II) have brought a new light to our church.  First Lady Russell chose to remain with us as our Honorable First Lady and we continue to be blessed by her humble, quiet spirit.  We have begun streaming live on the internet for those members that may not be able to attend church and are capturing a new audience at the same time.  Our church continues to grow under Pastor Cook's leadership as he is a dynamic speaker who tells the unadulterated truth to anyone that will listen.    Our church has been blessed in so many ways and we solicit your prayers as we continue to grow in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.