Guthrie Music School at Irene Church

Music School at Irene Church

Music School conducted by John Guthrie (right) and John Varner (left) at Irene Church, Lanier County, GA

Music School conducted by John Guthrie (right) and John Varner (left) at Irene Church, Lanier County, GA

John Elwood Guthrie was the youngest child of Arrin Horn Guthrie and Lucy Newbern Guthrie, of Ray City, GA.

John Guthrie was  country storekeeper, operating a feed store on Main Street in Ray City, that was situated where the City Hall is now located.  His home was directly behind the store.  John and his brothers, Sam and Herman were  and musician extraordinaire of Ray City, GA at times conducted music schools that drew students from surrounding counties. Guthrie was well known around the region as a teacher and performer, appearing at local night clubs, events and churches.  He was master of a variety of instruments and was known for playing country, gospel and jazz styles throughout the Southeast.

These photos depict a music school held by John Guthrie (right) and John Varner (left) at Irene Primitive Baptist Church,  which was located in Lanier County, GA (formerly Berrien County) about 5.5 miles northeast of Ray City.

Music School conducted by John Guthrie (right) and John Varner (left) at Irene Church, Lanier County, GA.  Image courtesy of www.berriencountyga.com

Music School conducted by John Guthrie (right) and John Varner (left) at Irene Church, Lanier County, GA. Image courtesy of http://www.berriencountyga.com

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Guthrie Music School, Irene Church near Ray City, GA

Guthrie Music School, Irene Church near Ray City, GA

 

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William Greene Avera Is Laid To Rest

William Green Avera (1855-1944) and Benjamin Gaskins (left) photographed at Irene Church, Lanier County, GA.  Image courtesy of www.berriencountyga.com

William Green Avera (1855-1944) and Benjamin Gaskins (left) photographed at Irene Church, Lanier County, GA. Image courtesy of http://www.berriencountyga.com

William Green Avera was a local educator who received national attention for his innovative teaching methods.

Professor Avera died January 10, 1944. His obituary ran on the front page of the Clinch County News:

Obituary of William Green Avera, Clinch County News, Jan 14, 1944.

Obituary of William Green Avera, Clinch County News, Jan 14, 1944.

The Clinch County News
January 14, 1944 Pg 1

William Avera is Laid to Rest

    Funeral services were held this morning at 11 o’clock (Wednesday) at the Irene Primitive Baptist church in Lanier county [see map] for William Greene Avera, pioneer educator of South Georgia who died at his rural home East of Nashville on Monday afternoon.  He was 88 years of age.
    As a mark of respect all the schools of Berrien county were closed for the funeral services.  Mr. Avera served as superintendent of the Berrien county schools for twenty years and form more than half a century he taught in the schools of Berrien and other counties in south Georgia.
    His second wife, Mrs. Margaret Avera. and one son, Bryant Avera, both of Berrien county and 13 grandchildren and a number of great grandchildren survive.
    Mr. Avera’s first wife was Miss Eliza Jane Sirmans.  There were 11 children from this union.  Mrs. Avera died in 1905 and in 1911 he was married to Miss Margaret McMillan.
    Pallbeareres at the funeral this morning were grandsons of Mr. Avera.  They were: Waldo Avera and W. R. Roberts, of Jacksonville, Fla., Albert Griner, Phiniza Avera and Saron Parr, of Nashville.
    The funeral services were conducted by Elder Orvill Knight.
    Mr. Avera was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Steven Willis Avera of Clinch county.  When he was a young child the family moved to Berrien county. 
    Mr. Avera died in the home in which he lived for 60 years.

Irene Church, 2011, Lanier County, GA

Irene Church, 2011, Lanier County, GA

For additional views of Irene Church see Irene Primitive Baptist Church

Grave of William Green Avera, Avera Cemetery, near Ray City, Berrien County, GA

Avera Cemetery map on Find-a-Grave

Irene Primitive Baptist Church

Irene Primitive Baptist Church near Ray City, GA

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