Our History

In October of 1912, a new church was formed in Athens, Georgia, with Dr. R.E. Neighbor as its first pastor.  Called the Baptist Tabernacle, the church met under a large tent on Childs Street while plans for a building were developed, and then opened for worship.  

In 1919, the first church was destroyed by fire, and the leadership sought a new location to build a new sanctuary.  A site on Prince Avenue in Athens was purchased, and a new building was erected.  Over many years, the building was expanded, with additional rooms for Sunday school, music ministry, and child care added.  In 1978, Prince Avenue Baptist Christian School was established as a ministry of the church.

In 2007, the school moved to a new building on property purchased by the church in Oconee County.  Piedmont College purchased the Prince Avenue Church downtown location, and the church relocated to the new Oconee County location.  Worship services were held in the school gymnasium for three years while the church building was constructed.  The new Prince Avenue Worship Center opened in January of 2010, under the leadership of long-time pastor Rev. Bill Ricketts who faithfully served as pastor for 43 years, stepping down in 2016 to pursue other ministry opportunities.  On November 12, 2017, the church called Dr. J. Josh Smith to become senior pastor.


Dr. R. E. Neighbor                  (1912-1916)

Rev. E. H. Jennings                (1916-1922)

Dr. J. J. Bennett                      (1923-1926)

Dr. T. W. Tippett                    (1927-1935)

Dr. Pope A. Duncan, Sr.         (1935-1938)

Rev. T. R. Harvill                   (1938-1954)

Rev. Aubrey A. Jackson         (1954-1958)

Dr. Jack Tatum                       (1958-1973)

Rev. Bill Ricketts                    (1973-2016)

Dr. J. Josh Smith                     (2017 to Present)