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The church building in a deteriorating condition as it appeared in 1948. The Richland Restoration League, Inc, formed the same year, began a process of restoring the structure, a process that continues today.
(Photo) A team of workers prepare to stablize the east side of the church building with a new foundation and steel beems.

A major restoration in the foundation and exterior took place in the summer of 2004. Madison-Poss Associates, a noted historic preservation and development firm located in Macon, Georgia, managed the project on an in-kind basis. As in the 1940s-1950s, sweat equity and generous contributions from Richland Restoration League Friends and Family have financed the project.

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Richland Church
... as it stands today with foundation and exterior restored.
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Initial restoration of building was 1948-1949 period. At this time,
"memorial lamps" were installed at the pulpit in honor of Rev. Bartow Asbell, the last pastor of the church. The large lamps hanging over the main body of the sanctuary were place in the church in 1949. The lamps were made to reproduce the appearance of the original oil lamp fixtures, which were lowered by a wire so they might be lit, extinguished, and cleaned. The ornamental cross behind Speaker Dr. Kirby Godsey is made of salvaged iron from the home of William Faulk, Laurel Hill, Marion, Georgia and placed in memory of Vance Peacock Faulk by his family.

A later addition to the church was a Chickering Rosewood square grand piano,circa 1860. On May 5, 1957 the piano was gifted in memory to the church by the two living granddaughters of George and Mary Faulk. The piano was a gift to the teenage Ella Glenn Shine by her father Captain Daniel W. Shine. The story has been handed down that it was imported from England (More likely sailed down the Atlantic from Boston.) to Savannah and made its way to Twiggs County by oxcart. Daniel Shine owned and operated an ox-cart hauling business in Twiggs County. Over the years the original instrument was ‘misplaced’. In February of 2007, a similar piano and stool was donated to the church by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Weaver of Fayetteville, Georgia.
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Gallery Seating-Slat back pews and Boot Jack benches, both styles familiar to the early to mid-1800’s, are arranged for the convenience of the members of color of the church in the swinging gallery. However parated the African Americans were physically from the main body of the church, they were allowed to join in membership. Chloe Hodge was the first black woman to become a member, in fact, a charter member in 1811.
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The Roman cross over the pulpit is a 2007 gift from Frank and Pamela Hendrix. It is newly constructed from old wood that was used to repair slaves benches. mplicity and virtue were common themes among church decoration in the South.

Cast iron stoves (circa 1853) manufactured by North Chase & North Foundry of Philadelphia was restored by Woodrow Little, Jr. Woodrow's daughter Amanda and David Gosnell were was married at the church.

Restoration of Old Richland's cemetery is presently underway, made possible in part by a grant from the E. J. Grassman Trust. Southern Granite & Marble and Phillips Ironwork provided repairs of the Carrara marble monuments and delicate ironwork. During restoration more than 50 unmarked graves were discovered.
Richardson Monument before restoration

Richardson Monument
after restoration in 2010.

Above ground Vault desecrated by vandals in years past.

Vault after restoration in 2010

Fences repaired and markers cleaned and repaired

Unmarked graves are identified with orange flags during recent restoration work on the cemetery.
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A grant from the E.J. Grassman Trust enabled the identification and establishment of white cross markers on 60 previously unmarked graves. Unfortunately the names of the deceased are unknown.

A special ceremony on Armed Forces Day was held at The Spring Family and Friends Picnic (2010) to honor current and ancestral veterans and to commemorate the establishment of the new crosses.
Your participation is important.
The restoration and maintenance of historic cemeteries is most often supported by family and friends of the deceased ancestors. If you have family or friends buried in Old Richland's cemetery and would like to contribute towards this worthy effort, contact President Susan Burford to learn how you can help.