Thomas Tenley Twitty, born in 1859, was ordained in 1892 and became a prominent preacher in the Baptist church in North Georgia in the early 20th century. He led the Baptist church in Norcross for 11 years, and made Norcross his home for much of his adult life.
Rev. Twitty grew up in hard times - during
and in the aftermath of the Civil War. He lost his mother and brother to typhoid fever when he was 15 and “from that time the young man was thrown out into the world to look out for himself” according to historian J. C. Flanigan. He had some school, but was mostly self-taught and “read widely, and familiarized himself with all questions that a man of liberal education is presumed to know.”
After he was called to serve the Baptist church in Norcross the Twitty family moved to the wood frame house at the corner of North Peachtree Street and Reps Miller Road that stands today. Several years later they moved to a home on Railroad Street (today’s Wingo Street), due, according to family tradition, to complaints by his children about the great distance they had to walk to reach downtown.
T.T. Twitty had one son and five daughters (Blanche, Floy, Jessie, Mary, Lucille and Hugh) with his first wife, Lenna Dodgen of DeKalb County, prior to her death in February 1904. He then married Hattie Bagwell in August of that year, and they proceeded to produce six more children (Bob, Arthur, Grace, Nell, Bill and Thomas Jr. (“Buster”). Rev. Twitty ran for the Georgia state legislature in 1916, and continued his preaching career until his untimely death on August 23, 1919, a few weeks after his 60th birthday, due to a stroke suffered while leading a revival at a church near Buford.