Constituted March 12, 1854
In the days before automobiles, travel was a chore. A young man by the name of W.W. Lee saw a ministry need in a region with no church presence. As a faithful member of the Wades Baptist Church (Cooperville, GA), he made a request for a Bible study to be started in an old school house (where the present day Double Heads Cemetery is located). His request was granted, he was ordained into gospel ministry, and a small Bible study was started as a mission of Wades Baptist Church in the old community school house. By 1854, 12 members pulled together and constituted Double Heads Baptist as an autonomous church. Elder W.W. Lee was called to serve as the first pastor, and a "more comfortable building was erected" which served as Double Head's first house of worship. Elder W.W. Lee served Double Heads faithfully for 20 years, retiring in 1875.
Why "Double Heads"?
The courthouse deed explains it as a one acre parcel of land located close to the double heads on Jackson Mill Branch.
The Early Years:
In 1875, Elder W.W. Lee retired from ministry, and Double Heads called their second pastor, Rev. H. J. Arnett. Continuing as pastor until 1932, he would serve Double Heads for nearly half a century! Rev. H.J. Arnett currently holds the longest tenure of any pastor to serve Double Heads.
These were particularly fruitful years for the Double Heads Church! Due to rapid growth, a high rate of conversions, and a heavy emphasis on evangelism, the initial building built in 1854 was soon replaced (1871). Shortly after this, in 1885, a third building was erected to replace the second building! This is the same building which stands in use today - 133 years later!
By 1886, Double Heads had grown to be the largest church in the Middle Baptist Association - doubling the size of the second largest church in the association. She reported 261 active members on her roll. An average of 24 baptisms were taking place each year.
1888 brought about new possibilities when the first Women's Missionary Union (WMU) was established. (Legend has it, Mrs. Georgia Dixon Arnett planned this while sitting on a log in the church yard while she waited on Rev. H.J. Arnett to finish a meeting.) The following year, the WMU was officially inducted into the Middle Baptist Association as the first WMU in the association.
In 1889, Goloid Baptist Church was planted as a mission church by Double Heads Baptist Church. Fourteen of Double Head's 305 active members were transferred to Goloid to serve as founding members. Good relations with Goloid continue to this day! (i.e. hosting annual Vacation Bible School together, etc.)
Ministerial success continued for Double Heads Baptist Church on up through the turn of the century; reporting an average of 24 baptisms every year, and a membership of well over 300. In 1926, the first major remodel of the present building (erected 1885) was completed. Stained glass windows were placed along the front and back of the sanctuary, and a porch was added on. The present pulpit was also crafted and donated to the church.
Additionally, in 1926, due to some land swapping and additional land being deeded to the church, the church property had grown to 10 acres. A road now surrounds the property on all sides.
In 1934, the church "connected" with Mr. Roy M Howard's lighting plant, and had overhead lights installed.
By 1936, as a response to continued need, eight Sunday school rooms were added to the rear of the church.
Within a decade, the fellowship hall was added as an annex to these Sunday school rooms.
A brick ranch style parsonage was built on church grounds, which also houses the church office / pastor's study.
An additional annex (third) was added as a two-story education wing. The first floor consists of a nursery, two additional Sunday school rooms, additional bathrooms, and storage rooms. The second floor consists of a large youth area.
The latest addition includes a pavilion and cookhouse for fellowship events, and also gets used for outreaches such as Vacation Bible School, and an annual youth block-party.
On February 25, 2018, Rev. Joel Vancil was called to join a rich history of servant leaders to pastor Double Heads Baptist Church. At only 24 years old, he is among the youngest pastors in the association. He hopes to bring about a new perspective and fresh vision to DHBC as we continue to proclaim the timeless truths of the Gospel - the good news of Jesus Christ!
Of the many ministries, discipleship programs, and outreaches performed by Double Heads, a few are as listed:
Women's Missionary Union (WMU)
Vacation Bible School (VBS)
Sunday Morning Worship
Wednesday Evening Small Group (Bible Study & Prayer Meetings)
Annual "Low-Country Boil" for youth & outreach
Various other ministries...
Though Double Heads Baptist Church is located in what is today considered a "very rural" part of southeastern Georgia, she continues to be a beacon to her community, and her ministry is intentionally narrated by her mission statement:
Love God. Love People. Serve Both.
Want to know more?
An extensive and detailed church history is available per request in the church office.