Compiling more than 150 years of history is no small task, even when it's involving a small town.
That's what Doris Hunt learned firsthand in her years of research for A Telling: The History of the First Baptist Church in Thomson, Georgia. Although the main focus is the church that was organized in 1859, the book encompasses the history of the entire town, Hunt told the Rotary Club during a brief overview of the book Aug 18.
The story she shared included comedy and colorful characters, such as the Langston family who used to own most of the land in Thomson, and Tom Watson. Hunt said the former senator got into quite a bit of trouble as a lifelong member at the church.
Of course, the book chronicles plenty of hardships too, beginning with the Civil War that started just one year after the first church building was erected.
"(People) faced much more than the rules of discipline in their personal lives," Hunt said after an amusing anecdote about a woman who drew the ire of the church by holding a ball. "They faced a war, which at first was expected to be only a skirmish, but went on and on with its deaths and privations and loneliness."
Hunt has lived in Thomson since 1956, and she drew much of the book's information from her late husband, Pete, who served as church clerk for 36 years. Hardcover copies of the book are available for $20 at First Baptist Church, with all proceeds going to the church.