(side 1)(Continued on other side)(side 2)
Settlers from the Edgefield District, South Carolina, organized the Sardis Baptist Church on June 10, 1837. The first building, a log cabin, was constructed in 1841 after John M. and his wife Amy Youngblood Dozier deeded four and one-half acres to the church for a building and cemetery. The present building, constructed in the 1850s, is an exceptionally fine example of rural antebellum church architecture of Greek Revival style. Relatively unaltered since construction, its four columns support a full entablature and low-pitched roof. Each of the two primary entrances has double-paneled doors trimmed with unadorned molding, and each side of the building has four tall, shuttered, 18-light windows. The building was repaired in 1940-41 and 1992-93. As membership declined, Sunday afternoon services were conducted by visiting Methodist ministers from Union Springs. The church became inactive in the early 1950s, but was the setting for a wedding in 1993. Added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1992, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
(Continued from other side)In the cemetery, the oldest tombstone bears the name of Moses E. Martin, died May 18, 1848. Part of the cemetery nearest the church served the Negro community during the early years. As the need arose for more space, William Andrew Martin and his wife Nancy Strom Martin, who had bought the adjoining land from the Doziers in 1860, allowed the church to extend the cemetery southward onto their property.
Sardis School, a community school, was located on the church property across the highway from the church on the corner of Highway 223 and County Road 22. Newspaper articles indicate the school was operating in 1861 and 1870. The old Sardis School building was subsequently moved east on County Road 22, where it became, as it remains today, the living room of the Livingston Paulk home.
In 1867, the Buena Vista Masonic Lodge #169 was located just north of the church property.