In 1997 at the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Constituency meeting held in Dalton, Georgia, the constituency voted to begin to work in establishing a Seventh-day Adventist Church in north Georgia in the vicinity of Dahlonega.
Initial work was begun by Elder E.W. Dempsey a conference employee who began “Bible Research” correspondence studies throughout the region. He conducted two Bible Prophecy Seminars in Dahlonega and generated several Bible study interests.
The Professional and Business Association, a group of lay members of the Ga-Cumberland Conference, took interest in what was then known as “The Dahlonega Project”. They funded a Bible worker team, Dave and Edna Roberts, who came down from Indiana and conducted Seminars, Bible Studies and home visitation in the region.
Eventually it was realized that the majority of the interests at that time were developing in the Dawsonville area. Through the efforts of Dave and Edna Roberts with the Gainesville Seventh-day Adventist Church agreeing to be the “mother” church, the “North Ga. Mission Group” meeting in Dawsonville was authorized by the Ga-Cumberland Conference.
For the next two years, the group met in various locations, including Scouts Hall in Dahlonega, Dave and Edna’s home, and the Days Inn in Dawsonville (now Best Western Hotel).
As Dave and Edna transitioned from Dawsonville back to Indiana in July of 2000, the Ga-Cumberland Conference appointed Bill Chambers, an associate pastor in the Atlanta Belvedere Seventh-day Adventist Church as a regional evangelist and pastor to the mission group in Dawsonville. “Pastor Bill” served until October of 2007 when he answered a call to minister another church in West Georgia. The conference then appointed Elder John Williamson, a retired pastor and conference leader, to lead the group.
A permanent place to meet was secured at Ga 400 and Grant Rd in Dawson County. Holding regular Sabbath services, Bible studies and Bible Prophecy Seminars, the group’s growing membership allowed them to take the next step and in September of 2001, was authorized as the Dawsonville “Company” by the Ga-Cumberland Conference.
The group of committed Adventists derived its encouragement and endurance from God’s promises in His Word and from the words of one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ellen White, who wrote in Christ’s Object Lessons pg 363 the following:
“When we give ourselves wholly to God and in our work follow His directions, He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us speculate as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure. We are to co-operate with One who knows no failure.”
Steadfastly continuing to pursue their goal to establish a permanent church in the area, in 2004 the group met the criteria set by the conference for new churches. On May 15 of 2004, the Dawsonville Company was recognized as a full fledged Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Ga-Cumberland Conference.
At that time a new name was selected for the church. The official name chosen was The Chestatee Seventh-day Adventist Church. The name “Chestatee” fits the area in which the church is located. But more than that, the name was selected because of its meaning. The word “Chestatee” is a Cherokee Indian name for the river that runs through the area through Lumpkin and Dawson counties. The Indian name means “Place of lights.” The group felt that reflected what the church was to be, a place of lights, reflecting the light of God’s Word and His love in this community.
The church now meets at 1635 Blacks Mill Rd., in Dawson County. The Chestatee Church is the only Seventh-day Adventist Church in the tri-county area of Dawson, Lumpkin and Forsyth counties. We have a wonderful new facility and look forward to your visit.