Last updated: Tuesday, 03-May-2011 12:24:32 CDT
American History & Genealogy Project
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Turner County Georgia Churches

Live Oak Methodist Church, Live Oak Community

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Rebecca, Georgia

Trinity Baptist Church, Ashburn, Georgia


This information has been scanned from John Ben Pate's book, History of Turner County (first printed in 1933).  I tried to profread entries, but may have missed some scanning errors.

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 again. 

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 Civil War. 

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 sacrifice. 


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