What is the oldest church in Macon?


Christ Episcopal Church on Walnut Street is almost as old as Macon itself. Founders Ambrose Baber, Edward Tracy, Christopher Strong and several others started the congregation in 1825, two years after the establishment of Macon. The chapel was built in 1851.

Today the church’s steeples tower high above its neighboring buildings. The structure of the building and its location are original, but members of the church and the Macon community have contributed to renovations over the years, according to Julie Groce, the church historian and a member of nearly 30 years.

Several original windows remain, but the chapel is now also decorated with memorial windows from 1882 that are dedicated to past and present members of the congregation.

“When you walk into the building, it’s extremely beautiful but it’s also very peaceful,” Groce said.

As the congregation’s membership grew, so did the size of the church. There are about 600–700 members on record. There have also been major additions to the property, including Sunday school rooms, a kitchen, two courtyards and a new organ.

The original organ was the first in Macon. It was later replaced in 2000 and now has gold-covered pipes.

“All of the restoration of the interior of the church was centered around installation of the organ,” Groce said.

It has always been the church’s goal to reach beyond their walls and engage with the community, according to Groce.

“I always take comfort in knowing that I am not the first or second generation that has prayed here and worshiped here,” Groce said. “This church is greater than all of us.”