Smyrna Baptist Church. On August 9, 1882, ten pioneer settlers of the rural Smyrna community met to organize this fellowship, originally known as the Smyrna Baptist Church of Christ. The charter meeting was directed by Elder Nelson Porterfield (1816-1906), a Georgia native and a pioneer Baptist missionary in Texas and Arkansas who served as the first pastor. Early worship services were held in a log schoolhouse (.25 mi. SW). The first sanctuary was built west of here in 1885 on land purchased from J. W. Hughes. In 1900 the church acquired this tract and the nearby cemetery, the burial site of many early area pioneers. New church facilities were constructed at this site in 1907. Later sanctuaries were completed in 1941 and 1977. Throughout its history, the Smyrna Baptist Church has experienced steady growth under the direction of many prominent preachers. In addition, the church has also ordained and licensed several ministers. Since 1882 the Smyrna Baptist Church has served as the focal point of the surrounding rural community. The church's facilities have been used for various civic and school functions and its members, including descendants of pioneer area residents, have played vital roles in the region's development. - Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1982. Located on Highway 77 about 6 mi. E of Atlanta in Smyrna.