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Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 59
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

   I’ve succumbed to a little bit of newspaper browsing.  We’re going through the pages of old Moultrie Observers to see what treasures we can discover.

   To me, it is a treasure to know that disturbing the worship services of a church was classified as a misdemeanor in 1919…and according to the paper…is still classified as a misdemeanor in 2003.

   A Colquitt County Superior Court jury spent all night in 1919 deliberating such a case, indicating the seriousness with which citizens took their jury duty!

   The Moultrie First Assembly of God Church was conceived in mid-1938 and officially organized January 17, 1939.  In 1976 the sanctuary was located on the Thomasville Highway south of Moultrie.  That building was dedicated October 21, 1973.

   First Assembly had its first revival in 1938 under the Rev. S. W. Noles, who helped organize the church a few months later while he was State Superintendent of Assemblies.

   The Rev. L. G. Grice was appointed first pastor and hyeld that position for 18 years.  Others who have served the local assembly through 1976 include the Reverends R. B. Palmer, Leon Comer, Clifford Coursey and James H. Smith who assumed the pastorat6e in 1968.

   The addition to the new sanctuary, an educational building was constructed as a second phase of the building program.  It houses a modern kitchen, reception hall, office and Sunday School rooms.  From Monday through Friday each week the church operates a nursery and play school in the educational building.

   In 1976, the First Assembly of God had an enrollment of 197.

   One of the first things I learned when I moved to Moultrie in 1981 was the location of Rich Oil.  Even today, when giving directions, I say, “You know where Rich Oil is?”

   In answer to my question, Rich Oil is located at the intersection of the Sylvester and Tifton Highway.  Rich Oil was established in 1957 by Tommy Rich. 

   In 1976, Rich was the president of the firm and Billy Gay was vice-president.

   A 76-year-old Worth countian, Seaborn Harrell,  who moved into what was originally Irwin County in 1838 recalled the Indian Wars of the territory in an interview with The Observer staff in 1901.

   During a visit to Moultrie, he said he barely recalled coming with his family into then-Irwin County at the age of three, but could “well recollect the rights with Indians.”

   Seaborn Harrell was also one of the first subscribers to The Observer!

   The Cherokee Garden Club, the first garden club to be organized locally, was formed in 1930 with a desire to improve “the unimpressive city.”

   In that year, The Moultrie Chamber of Commerce petitioned the ladies of the municipality on the idea of a garden club for the town.  Editorials were written on the proposal, the idea was discussed throughout the town and on April 17, 1930, a group of civic and garden-minded women met to establish the club.

   The object of the organization has been “growing of flowers and shurubs, the beautification of homes, streets and parks and reclaiming the unsightly areas within the city limits.”

   The group began their efforts toward beautification of the city by planting dogwoods, crepe myrtles and shade trees along the streets.  Attention was also placed on beautifying the courthouse grounds and the Westview cemetery.  Other projects included flower shows and garden tours which were sponsored annually with “stimulating effect.”

   Wildcats were said to be “not as plentiful in 1901 in Colquitt County as some years earlier.” 

   F. B. Vickers and J. J. Morris killed a wildcat in Little River swamp in September of 1901 that measured five feet from foot to foot and two feet high.

  Vickers and Morris said the cat had been eating lambs and pigs in the Bayboro area.

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