The History of Bowen’s Mill Christian Center

Bowen’s Mill Christian Center is an inclusive community of Christians drawn together by a common bond of civic and spiritual principles. We live in close proximity to one another as a spiritual light in a world plagued by the cancer of growing violence and moral darkness.

Although much of the physical history of Bowen’s Mill has been swept away by the ravages of time, its history dates back to the early 1800’s. In 1836, R.V. Bowen, Sr., built a large waterwheel powered gristmill on House Creek, adjacent to our present convention site. A heavy wooden board dam across House Creek impounded water to form a 100-acre lake which furnished the power for the gristmill.

The same waterwheel also powered a vertical straight sawmill which cut the lumber used to construct nearby Mt. Zion Baptist Church in 1844. Nine parishioners and their slaves formed the original congregation, each group having their own entranceways into the church. After the Civil War, the slaves were freed, dismissed from the church and granted permission to build their own church next door. Both churches are still being used today.

In 1866, one of the first timber bridges in this part of Georgia was constructed over House Creek. The bridge was over 200 feet long, 12 feet wide with banisters of 3 feet tall. The cost to build this bridge was approximately 99 cents per running foot. (There are a multiple number of construction projects on the property available for bids within this same price range. Please apply at the office. )

Bowen’s Mill was a well-known recreational area. It had its own train station along a line that ran parallel to Highway 129 (formerly Old Dixie Highway). There was a bowling alley, swimming pool, restaurant, motel and country store. Sometime prior to 1949, the wooden dam broke and the 100-acre lake vanished, carrying the gristmill away. A small portion of the mill’s steel gears and shaft are still visible to bridge pedestrians.

Our purpose at Bowen’s Mill is to provide a camping and convention site to accommodate large numbers of other Christian groups with similar motives. We welcome your inquiries and visits to determine how our facilities can benefit your spiritual, accommodation and relaxation needs.

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