An unknown author once said, “Remembering the past gives power to the present. What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment.”
You may ask: why is this celebration so important? One year, 50 years, 99 years, what’s the difference? One of many reasons may well be that the strength we need to execute the vision of the church comes from knowing, appreciating, and remembering our past. Those who forged this “God path” that we are on did so with their strength, their prayers, and their very lives. Their efforts and faithfulness have all worked together with God’s plan, to bring us to this very moment. Remembering them will give us the power and the strength to fulfill God’s vision for Crane Eater in the years to come.
Crane Eater Community Church (what was then known as Crane Eater Church of God) was first established by Rev. E.J. Boehmer. Rev. Boehmer began his ministry here by having cottage prayer meetings in farm houses in the community. During the summer months of 1913 Rev. Boehmer held services in a brush arbor located on this site. During the winter months they used the nearby Crane Eater Community school house. According to some historical narratives, there was opposition to using the school.
The first title deed granted to Crane Eater Church of God was executed on January 12, 1914 (a Monday) where sole trustee JLB Poarch purchased the land for $12.50 from Samuel Goodman King (S.G. King). The King family has a long heritage in this community. Sam G. King was our Brother Kim King’s great-grandfather. Bro. Kim and Sister Kathy King and their children continue this legacy, with six generations of the King family represented in our church today.
On January 13, 1914 (a Tuesday) the Crane Eater Church of God was officially chartered, making it the oldest continuing Church of God in the state of Georgia.Charter members were:
Crane Eater's Charter members are:
- Rev. E.J. Boehmer (Pastor)
- Sister Boehmer
- John L Ben Poarch (JLB) (First Trustee) (1st wife Amanda A. per 1910 census) & Lilly Staser Poarch (2nd wife of JLB Poarch – married Jan.8, 1921.)
- Sally Black
- Maude Wade
- Ethel Burnette Poarch
- Mollie Baxter
- Effie Dupree
- Maude (Pass) Ragsdale
- Madge Seabolt
- Miss Frankie Burch
- Ed Shepherd
- CB Cole
- Mrs. Hattie Maker
Brother E.J. Boehmer was elected as Pastor and served as pastor of this fledgling church for another four years from 1914 to1928, and saw the church membership grow to more than one hundred.
Early Pictures of Crane eater Church
There are no known existing pictures of the original brush arbor or the April 1914 wood and frame church. The earliest pictures below are of the rock church (still exiting today), building began in October 1938 and the church was dedicated to the Lord on April 8, 1939 under Pastor J.P. Greene.