SOME OLD TIME CHURCH HISTORY.
The first church in this section was organized about 1830
or 1835, just across the line over in Crisp County. Rev. William Pate was
the first pastor.
The charter members were, Elijah Pate and James Pate,
deacons; Reese Musslewhite, clerk; other members were John Fulghum, Bob
Joiner, Rev. Pate's daughters, Mesdames Polly Holt, Betsey Story, Nancy
Blanchard, Sarah Johnston and the pastor's wife, Tempy Pate.
The name was Rock Hill Baptist Church.
After Rev. Pate's death in 1841, Rev. Warren Dykes of
Worth County was pastor till its dissolution in 1855.
Between 1838 and 1845, there was a division in the ranks
of the Baptists on account of the great missionary movement, which culminated
in a complete division when the Southern Baptist Convention was organized
at Augusta, Ga., in 1845.
Rock Hill Church was no exception to the rule as nearly
every Baptist Church was divided; which ever side was in the majority always
held the building.
In Rock Hill the Primitive side prevailed, and the following
members withdrew: James Pate, Nancy Blanchard, Polly Holt, Sarah Johnson
and probably Betsey Story.
Some of those who withdrew, joined a Baptist Church above
Cordele, named Bethel.
The last conference held by Rock Hill Church, was in the
home of Deacon Elijah B. Pate, Dakota, Ga., in 1855, and withdrew fellowship
from him because he had joined the Masonic order. They never met in conference
Another church was organized a few years later, probably
as early as 1835, by the name of Emmeas, at the present site of the Davisville
public school in this county. The pastor who organized the church was probably
Rev. William Pate, and the charter members were as follows:
Micajah Owens, Joshua Owens, Mrs. Mima Nipper and her
two daughters, Betsey and Jane.
The organization moved to near where Hatley is now located,
and afterwards to the Rock House, a freak of nature near Cordele, and afterwards
to its present location on the Deep Creek road, and today is one of the
most thriving Primitive Baptist churches of South Georgia.
Another very old church of the Primitive Baptist persuasion
is Pleasant Hill Church near Sycamore. It was organized about 1850 or 1855,
two or three miles west of Ashburn, with the following members: Lott Whiddon,
George Young, Martha Hobby and Richard Tucker. Rev. Warren Dykes who had
been pastor of the other churches already named in this article, was the
first pastor of this church. Rev. Ezekiel Williams, father of Rev. John
J. Williams of Ashburn, Ga., succeeded Rev. Dykes and was followed in this
pastorate by Rev. Hansel Parrish, who like- wise was followed by Rev. Zarah
Paulk, a man of a commanding personality. Stern in the Calvanistic doctrines
of his denomination, yet he was held in the loving esteem by the members
of every order and creed, as a man of God. Rev. Paulk died about 1890,
having been pastor of this church forty-six years.
About 1850 or 1855, there was a Methodist Church about
two miles south of Live Oak Methodist Church. Some of the members were:
Aaron Chandler, Virgil Chandler, Francis Chandler, a class leader of the
church, Mary Ann Bailey and Aunt Jane Gorday. Live Oak Church itself is
doubtless a reorganization of this old church.
In 1855, a church by the name of Bethel Baptist Church,
was organized about one-half mile south of Amboy, with the following members:
James Pate, Benjamine Rainey, Joseph Rainey and Elizabeth, his wife, Elkanah
Harralson and Christian, his wife and their daughter, Kate. E. D. Hunter
and Edward Bullington, were the organizing presbytery. Rev. E. D. Hunter
was the first pastor. A short time afterwards a Methodist Church was organized
in the same building and the circuit rider who preached there was a Rev.
Lanier. The only member I know of was my grandmother, Mrs. Jane Rainey.
In 1866, Rev. James Fields, who was a missionary of the
Houston Association, organized another church where the Davisville school
is located by the name of Emmeas. The members were: Benjamin Rainey, Mrs.
Catherine Chandler, nee Rainey, Mrs. Jincy Pate, Lydia Rainey, Christian
Harralson and Kate Harralson. The pastors were James Fields, E. D. Hunter
and G. W. Williams. Rev. Fields had what was called an "arm" extended and
about 1879 and 1880, and organized Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, near Rebecca,
which became a very strong church numerically and also Deep Creek Missionary
Baptist Church with the following members: Mrs. Catherine Pate, Mrs. Jane
Wheeler, Mrs. Betsey Roberts and D. W. Watson. Deep Creek Church was disorganized
in 1905 to organize Amboy and Oak Hill churches.
It is probable that Pleasant Hill Primitive Baptist Church
near Sycamore was the only organization that survived the rigors of the
About 1882 to about 1884, Rev. E. M. Booth, a circuit
rider of the Methodist Church, did a lot of preaching and organized some
churches in this section but most of them were temporary organizations.
In 1882, Rev. T. R. Bullington was ordained a Missionary
Baptist preacher at Pleasant Hill Church, near Rebecca, Ga. With scarcely
any financial aid he did a marvelous work, both as pastor and evangelist.
He was pastor at Pleasant Hill Church, and Rev. Lawson Smith was ordained
and was a strong local pillar in the Baptist cause.
He was pastor at Deep Creek for several times, and Rev.
B. F. Rainey was converted and baptized by Brother Bullington. Brother
Rainey today is a prominent Baptist preacher and for years was moderator
of the Turner Baptist Association.
Brother Bullington had an arm extended from Deep Creek
and organized Oak Grove Baptist Church. While pastor here, Rev. J. J. Davis
was converted and was baptized by Brother Bullington.
Rev. J. J. Davis has done a wonderful work in building
and organizing churches, and has stood as a bulwark against all forms of
sin and unrighteousness.
Rev. T. R. Bullington has labored earnestly and at great