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Gospel Messenger
Founded by Mr. J. A. Crews in 1878 of Wilson, N. C
First issue Oct. 1878

Elder John Richard Respess was a Minister and the publisher of The Gospel Messenger in Butler, Georgia form 1879 to January 1896. Born Oct. 2, 1831 in Upson County to Nathan Respass and Louisa Williams. Louisa Williams was the daughter of John B. Williams and Susanna Mourning of Crawford County, Georgia.  He was a received his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1852. He set up law practice in Butler, Georgia in 1854 but left Butler when there was an outbreak of small pox in 1854. During his departure from Butler he became a Primitive Baptist minister and did not return to Butler for 30 years. He joined the Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church in Upson County in 1856 and was baptized by Elder John Dickey.  Ordained as an Elder in the Primitive Baptist Churn in 1858 by Elders John Dickey, William Crowell Cleveland and Samuel Bentley at the Ebenezer Church. Elder Respass moved his family to Schley County, Georgia in late 1859 to be near the academy to for the education of his children. Elder and Mrs. Respess joined the Phillippi church and remained members for over 20 years. Elder Respass and Mrs. Respass are buried in the Butler Memorial Hospital


Sept. 1880 Gospel Messenger

Deacon W. A. Bartlett departed this life at his residence, Marion Co., Ga. on Feb. 18, 1880 in the 62nd year of his age.  He died very suddenly of heart disease.  He was a member of county line Church, Chattahoochee, Ga.,  He joined the church at New Hope in Taylor County Georgia about 40 years ago and was baptized by Elder J. W. Bassett.  He is survived by his wife and left a very large family of children, married twice, 24 in all, 15 survive him.   Elder John Green Murray

November 1880 Gospel Messenger

My mother, Mrs. Rachel Caldwell departed this live in Meriwether Co, Georgia June 28, 1880 age 78.  She was a faithful Primitive Baptist for about 55 years.  She was the widow of the late Elder Creed Caldwell and mother of the late Elder David Caldwell.  By Deacon John H. Caldwell

November 1880 Gospel Messenger

Mrs. Temperance Wynn, Born 1814 in Edgefield, S. C. . Joined the Bethel Church in Taylor Co. Georgia May 1, 1869 and remained a member until her death Sept. 20, 1880 age 66.  Her father Daniel Huff moved from S. C. to Georgia when she was  young .Married Harrison Wynno f Haris Co., Georgia and is buried at the Butler Memorial Cemetery in Butler.

Jan. 1882 Gospel Messenger

Robert William Respass born Sept. 7, 1857 died Oct. 26, 1881 in Suwanee Co., Fl.  He was residing with Elder R. F. Rogers (a mission Elder) and teaching school.  He died from malarial fever. His body was brought back to Butler for burial. If his mother had a favorite child it was Bobby.  Bobby marked the sixth boy that has preceded us to the grave.  We only have 2 sons left the oldest of whom Zaccheus Durand is in bed with typhoid fever.  Oh Lord, sanctify these afflictions to our good, for Christ sake.  Elder John Richard Respass

April 1882 Gospel Messenger

Sallie, the youngest child of Elder Samuel Bentley died of malarial fever.


May 1882 Gospel Messenger

Ellie Howe wife of Robert R. Howe died in Sumpter  Co., Ga. Jan 30, 1882 of typhoid fever. She was born in Early County Georgia on June 25, 1854, daughter of Daniels and M. C. Shehee who reside in Taylor county, Ga.  She left 5 children 3 daughters and 2 sons, the oldest being 5 years of age. 

Job Turner b. Aprol 30, 1823 Lenoir County, N. C, removed to Houston county 1840.  Married Mary A. Royal of Marion county Georgia Dec. 17, 1850. Baptized in teh Primiteve Bap. Church on June 1 1881. Died of Dropsy of the heart Dec. 18, 1881...E. J. Williams

Cinderella C. Dean b. Jones Co., Ga. May 27, 1809.  Married Charles Dean Dec. 23, 1838. They had 7 daughters and 1 son.  The only son died at an early age, survived by her husband and daughters. She died 6 miles NE of Columbus, Ga. at her home on Jan. 27, 1882.  George W. Cargill.

James Davis, infant son of Deacon James W. Murray and wife Annie (then of Macon County Georgia and now of Orange County Florida) born Nov. 27, 1880 died Nov. 1880.. Elder John Green Murray


July 1882 Gospel Messenger

Miss Virginia Bailey daughter of Dr. Charles am Mrs. Amanda Bailey born in Butts Co., Ga.born May 17, 1842 died Aug. 12, 1881 . Dr. Bailey died when she was 10 and her mother married Elder Washington C. Cleveland and removed to  Crawford County, Ga. Emeline Jordan

Nov. 1882 Gospel Messenger

Mrs. Theresa Mariah Philpot born June 23 1854 wife of Dr. Philpot of Talbotton Georgia died the home of  her father Elder Samuel Bentley of this village Aug. 12, 1882 from consumption at her parents home.  On Sunday morning Aug. 13, 1882, the writer of this imperfect sketch preached at her request the funeral in the house of her parent. She was taken to Talbotton and interred.

December 1882 Gospel Messenger

B. H. Mobley died in Butler Sept. 29, 1882.  He came to butler to teach music and was a dealer in musical instuments.  He joined the Primitive Baptist Church at Butler. He left a wife and two children.  Elder John Richard Respass.

Jan 1883 Gospel Messenger

Deacon John F. Markett of Providence Church, Sumter County Georgia died Sept 3, 1882.  Born  in Jones County Georgia to Joseph Markett and moved to Jones county with his father at age 12.  Later removed to Upson county Georgia and married Sarah Bozeman 1832 in Crawford County, Ga.  He was baptized by Elder Jock Barker Sept. 9 1843 at the Primitive Baptist Church and ordained deacon of Ebenezer Church April 10, 1847. 1848 he removed to Sumter County Georgia and joined the church at Providence and remain there until his death.  By Elder John Richard Respess

 April 1883 Gospel Messenger

Mr. Nancy McCrary died Jan 6, 1883 at age 83 lacking 2 days. She was a member of the Utapoie  Church, Talbot County Georgia, widow of Mathew McCrary and a Primitive Baptist. She leaves but two daughters one a step daughter of teh may she had raised. She having been bereaved of her husbands and children by death, some of whom were killed in teh late war, some dying in Virginia and Alabama (Civil War).  Her daughter L. R. Edwards


June 1883 Gospel Messenger

Sister Elizabeth A. Gassett died at her home in Taylor County Georgia on Jan. 25, 1883. Born in Pitt county North Carolina on Aug. 1, 1818 , the daughter of George and Mary Bland. She married Charles M. Gassettt and settled in Taylor County Georgia about 1846..  She joined by letter the Prosperity Church July 19, 1851 She had 6 children. By Elder Bennett Stewartt

October 1883 Gospel Messenger

Elder James D. Tennison dies at his home in Brooks County, Ga. Born April  5, 1815, died June 6, 1883. He joined the Primitive Baptist Church in Crawford County Georgia  and was baptized  by Elder John Bassett.Jan. 8, 1838 he married Zinno Horton in Crawford County, Ga. and they had 10 children, 2 sons and 3 daughters survive him. Pelham Georgia.. Elder William Hollingsworth.

March 1884 Gospel Messenger

John W. Bartlett son of Deacon William and Mrs. Ruth Bartlett died Oct. 8, 1883, born in Marion County Jan 10, 1855..
This is but a sad story of mental anguish and problems.  He died at the Asylum of  Marasma.  Elder John Green Murray.
(this story is greatly condensed from the article he attempted suicide, was committed, released then recommitted)

Oct. 1884 Gospel Messenger

Deacon  John H. Caldwell of Good Hope Church in Upson County Georgia b. Jan 27, 1822. died June 20, 1884 from a strode  at the Echeconna Assoc. last September 1883 from which he never fully recovered.  By Elder John Richard Respess

June 1885 Gospel Messenger

My aunt, Mrs. Mary Murray wife of Daniel Murray died at her home in Macon County Georgia, Jan. 9, 1885.  Born in Burke County Georgia Nov. 12, 1800 m. November 14, 1824.  Member of Sardis Church and was baptized by Elder Green all of Macon County Georgia.. She removed to Houston County Georgia where she was a member of Bethel Church. They removed to Marion County and joined the Prosperity Church, on the move again to Schley County and joined the Phillippi.  Her husband was baptized by Elder John Respess at Phillipi. Into the fellowship of Phillipi chruch two of her sons James W. Murray, afterwards a deacon in the chruch now in a church in Orange County, Florida and Jasper R. Murray of Macon County Georgia were all of them baptized.  She died a member of the Ebenezer Church in Macon County Georgia.. By Elder John Green Murray

July 1885 Gospel Messenger

Deacon James Johnson and wife.

Brother Johnson b. near Goldsboro N.C. Sept. 30,1810.  His father removed to Crawford County Georgia when he was young.  He married Sarah Ogburn Dec. 13,1838 and moved to Macon County Georgia.  Joined Ebenezer Church and was baptized by Elder John Dickey on Sabbath Sept. 1852 and ordained a Deacon. He moved to Taylor County Georgia where he served Bethel Church as a deacon for 16 or 17 years, he moved to Columbus, Georgia and died there May 27, 1884.  AT the timof his death he was a member of the Bethl Chruch in Alabama.  He died from dropsy.  His body was returned to Bethel Cemetery for burial.  His dear aged compainion did not sufvive him long.  She died April 2, 1885 from dropsy and a severe cough. She joined the church at Mt Carmel Crawford County Georgia and was baptized by Elder James Mathews 3rd Sabbath in October 1842.  Elder John Green Murray

August  1885 Gospel Messenger

J. L. Ogburn, Deacon of New Hope Church in Taylor County Georgia was born in Houston County August 27, 1849 and baptized at Bethlehem Church in Taylor County Georgia by Rev. John P. Glover December 7, 1872  he married Sister Mary E. Glover  ceremony performed by Elder J. F. Sikes July 18, 1880.  J. L. Ogburn was ordained  Deacon at New Hope (with much confidence) Elders Samuel Bentley, B. Stewart, John R. Respess and writer on May 5, 1883.  He died April 7, 1885 leaving his wife and three little daughters, aged father and mother, several sisters.  By J. F. Sikes

If anyone has any information on this family please contact Margie Daniels

Oct. 188 Gospel Messenger

Sister Sarah Woodall died, Marion County, Georgia on the 5th Sabbath in May, last at the residence of her son-in-law, she was 88.
Born Feb. 24, 1798 in N.C.  Widow of Clement Woodall. Joined Hannah's Creek Church in N.C.  March 1828.. She was in the split in N. C. and soon after she and her husband moved to Houston County, Georgia.  She immediately became a member of Bethel and was in the memorable division which occurred in 1836. They removed to Schley County Georgia where Clement Woodall her husband died. Funeral services by Elder B. Stewart. Buried at Phillippi. 
Elder John Green Murray

October, 1887  Vol. 9  No. 10

Mrs. Ida S. Rowe, was born in Chattahoochee Co., Ga.,
November 4, 1865; died of measles in the city of
Columbus, July 14, 1886, in the twentieth year of her
age. She was married by the writer to Mr. J. R.,
youngest son of Elder J. Rowe, November 4, 1885, with
whom she lived happily for a short time. She left
Butler for Columbus a young and happy bride, with the
love of a widowed mother, fond brothers, sisters,
schoolmates and associates, all of whom are so soon to
be shocked with the sad news that Ida is dead! She had
never publicly professed a hope, but gave full
satisfaction of a change of heart and a hope of heaven
before her death, and was, therefore, fully resigned.
What a comfort to mother, husband, brothers, sisters
and friends. May grace abound unto you. Elder John Green Murray

Gospel Messenger

July 1887

Elder Warren L. Battle died at his home in Lowndes County Georgia Dec. 21, 1886 age 64. He first married Miss Lizzie Cottle of Schley County Georgia and they had 5 children, three living and 2 deceased.  He married second the daughter of Deacon James Whittle of Chattahoochee County  Georgia by whom he had 3 living children.  He joined the Phillippi Church in Schley County and was baptized by Elder John Richard Respess.  Ordained Deacon in the summer of 1871. He moved to Geneva Georgia in the spring of 1872 and joined Upatioie Church.  Moved to Orange County Florida in 1876 and joined Fellowship Church, Mt. Enon Assoc. of which ordained him to preach in Sept. 1881.  She died sitting up in a large rocking chair into which his wife had just helped him.  he leaned back on a pillow and asked her to sit near him so he could feel her touch him all the time and in a few minutes he died.  T. W. Stallings

Mrs. Matilda Rowe Jackson daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth Rowe died Sept 24, 1886 and was raised in Crawford County Georgia.  Married John Jackson November 7, 1839 in Crawford County and they lived together until his death in Feb. 1868. 14 children, one killed in the war, 10 sons and 3 daughters survived.  Three sons and their families reside in Texas, all other are residents of Georgia. Member of New Hope Church... Elder John H. Gresham

December 1887

Dannie Isola Shehee, daughter of Daniel and Missouri Shehee. died Aug. 11, 1887 at the home of her father in Taylor County Georgia age 26 of typhoid fever. 

Feb. 1888

Narcissa L. Fowler Glover Causey , born Feb. 1844 in Crawford County Georgia died Aug. 26, 1887 in Henry County Alabama age 43 years.   She was the youngest daughter of Nathan and Icy Snow Fowler, late of Crawford County Georgia.  She first married Samuel D. P. Glover son of John Paschal Glover, Sr. Samuel D. P. Glover died in Columbus, Mississippi while serving in the Civil War and is buried there. ( Samuel and Narcissa had a son Zephaniah named for her brother. He died as a child and she never had other children.

Oct. 1887

Mrs. Rhoda S. Hollis born Aug. 17, 1815 Baldwin County Georgia died in Tayhlro County Georgia June 20, 1887 age 62. Widow of Joseph Hollis, mother of 9, 4 sons and 5 daughters. Elde John Green Murray

April 1888

Elder James Everitt, son of Thomas Jennet Averritt born Twiggs county Georgia Jan.14, 1821.  He was raised in Houston County Georgia and then moved to Macon County Georgia, joined the Hepzibah Primitive Baptist Church, also known as Red Hill, Macon County Georgia.  Was baptized by Elder Sampson English. Married Miss Sarah H. English June 1843, daughter of Elder Sampson English.  In the winter of 1843 he moved his wife to Stewart County Georgia and began preaching in 1844.  In 1849 his ordination was called for but he objected and moved to Macon County and his ordination was again called for in 1852, he sold his home in Macon County Georgia to his brother-in-law and moved to Randolph County Georgia and joined the Poplar Springs Church in Stewart County Ga. once again called to ordination and submitted to the wishes of the brethren.  He died March 30, 1887 in Stewart Co. Georgia.  Buried at Poplar Springs Church Webster County Georgia.  W. T. Everritt

May 1888

Mrs. Mattie Watkins Allman born May 14, 1861, died Feb. 14, 1888 at 27. Married Benjamin F. Allman Dec 5, 1878. Survived by husband, children and mother Mrs. Lugenia Watkins. Mattie was an only child.


Gospel Messenger

November 1885

Mrs. Mattie Mathews Fletcher married J. T. Fletcher, May 1, 1877, born

Jan, 1 1850 died Aug. 2, 1885

She joined the Primitive Baptist Church at New Bethel in Marion County

Georgia. By E. Nowell

Jan. 1866

G. B. Hall born in Dooley County Georgia Dec. 27, 1861 died Sept. 11,

1885. He was a member of the Bethel Primitive Baptist Church.

Decon J. E. Lloyd died in Duffau, Erath County Texas Nov. 23, 1885 at

74. Born in Talbot county 1811 married Miss E. J. Sherrard, moved to

Alabama, taught school two years and then returned to Georgia.. Brother of

the late Benjamin Lloyd, publisher of the Primitive Hymn Book. A. V. Atkins

March 1886

Mrs.Matilda Holmes died Oct. 11 1885 in Crawford County Georgia age 76.

Born Aug 21, 1809. Baptized at Sharon Church in Monroe County with her

late husband by Elder William Henderson. She was a member of Mt. Carmel

Church in Crawford County Georgia when she died. B. G. McCowen.

Aug 1886

Mrs. Mary A. Pickard B. Feb. 24, 1847 in Upson County Georgia died Jan. 28,

1886. Married J. H. Pickard. She had 8 children and is survived by 7 of

them ages 3-20. She joined Good Hope Church in Upson County Georgia and was

baptized by John Dickey July 1865. Funeral was preached by Elder John

Dickey.....By Elder John Dickey

Nov. 1886

Nathan Bussey died Sept. 17, 1886 age 88 at his home in Talbot County

Georgia. Married Miss Luch Baugh May 3, 1821, she died Sept. 7, 1861. They

had 8 children 6 boys and 2 girls, 5 died before their father. One died as

an infant the others lived to adulthood all were Primitive Baptists, two

sons Elders Nathan Bussey and Hezekiah Bussey wee ministers. In 1821 at

age 24 he joined the Baptist and was baptized by Elder John Robinson into

the fellowship of Crooked Creek Church Putnam County Georgia. (See for the church data). When the split took place

and withdrew from Mount Vernon Church and was in the constitution of Salem

where hi membership remained until his death. He became a Deacon at age

26.His second wife was Mrs. C. R. Williams m. July 216, 1863 who survives

him. Elder John Respess

Dec. 1886

Mrs. Caroline E. Bentley Miller born Nov. 27,1827 in Jones County Georgia

daughter of John and Martha Bentley, died Nov. 18, 1885. The last

surviving sister of Elder Samuel Bentley of Butler Georgia. Member of

Ebenezer Church in Upson County Georgia. A widow she leaves children and

grandchildren. Elder John Richard Respess

June 1887

Mrs. Mary Ann McKindley Jackson, b. Aug.17, 1817 died Feb. 28,1887 at 69.

Married William B. Jackson of Upson Co., Ga. July 18, 1833 in Crawford

County Georgia. She was a member of Primitive Baptist church of Good Hope

in Upson County Georgia. Funeral services conducted by Elder John

Dickey. Survived by her husband. Elder W. W. Childs


March 1886 Gospel Messenger

Mr. Martha Blue died February 21, 1886. She was born in Warren Co., Ga. December 23, 1824, but moved when quite young to Tazewell in Marion County, Ga.  in which county she lived all her life.  She married Simon Blue
She lived in Tazewell, Marion County, Ga. and was on a visit to her grandson, Mr. Solomon Fleming Butler when she died.
She and her husband  joined the Primitive Baptist Church at Phillippi Church, Schley, Co., Ga. and were baptized by the writer in 1868. Brother Blue preceded her to the grave about nine years. She leaves two children, several grandchildren, many friends and no enemies. Elder John Richard Respess

Mrs. Matilda Holmes, widow of Jonathan Holmes, died in Crawford Co., Ga. October 11, 1885. She was born August 21, 1809, age seventy-six. Baptized at Sharon Church in Monroe Count with her
husband, by Elder William Henderson. She was a member of Mount Carmel Church, Crawford Co., Ga. when she died. B. G. Mc Cowen

Vol. 41 No. 7 July, 1919

Mrs. Vashti English
Church Memorial
In Memory of Sister Vashti English
According to the will and purpose of our Heavenly Father, for reasons well pleasing to Himself, He has again visited us by the summons of death in taking one of His blessed children (in the person of Sister Vashti English) home to Himself, saying, "Child, thy Father calls, come home," She united with the Primitive Baptist Church at Bluff Springs, Macon County, Ga., July 11, 1886, and departed this life April 17, 1919, in the ripe old age of ninty-three years, falling as it were a shock of corn fully ripe for the Master's garner. She exemplified by her Christian deportment, daily walk and godly conversation all those Christian graces that so beautifully characterizes an humble and loving child of grace. In her last sickness we feel sure she was blest with the loving and peaceful presence of her Saviour, in that her body void of pain and was permitted to pass over the river without a groan or strugle. In our Christian assembly her seat is vacant, and, as often as we meet to engaage in thanksgiving and supplication, we shall miss her, but we sorrow not as those who mourn without hope, for we feel sure that her spirit is basking in the sunshine of God's everlasting love, there awating the redemption of the body in the resurection, when the soul and body will be reunited, thoroughly prepaired to engage in chiming anthems of praise to the Lord of lords and King of Kings for ever and ever Amen
Written by order of the Church in Conference at Hepsibah, Macon Co., Ga. April 20, 1919. Elder W. M. Bullard, Mod., E. A. Head, Church Clerk. J. A. Adams and G. W. Green, Committee


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