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Local Primitive Baptist Church Origins

By Elder R. Keith Hamilton

The following is an outline of 19th century Baptist churches in Bulloch County and how they are related to one another. The outline is simplified for clarity and ease of reading. These relationships are far more complicated, and it is rare that any of the later churches came out of only one previous church body.

The earliest generation churches were largely comprised of “new converts” and it is not thought that any were constituted as an arm or outreach of existing churches. These people were likely among the early pioneers to the Bulloch-Screven-Tattnall region.

Baptist history in Bulloch County begins with Nevils Creek Church, Lower Lotts Creek Church, and Upper Black Creek Church. No formal evangelical ties to other churches has been found.

THE MATRIARCHS (Mother Churches):
   Nevils Creek - 1790
   Lower Lotts Creek - 1801
   Upper Black Creek - 1802

   --->Lower Mill Creek (1815)
   --->Upper Lotts Creek (1831) (Lower Lotts Creek also)

   --->Lake (1823)
            --->Metter (1900) (Upper Lotts Creek also)
   --->Bethlehem (1841) (Upper Lotts Creek also)
            --->Upper Mill Creek (1884) (Lower Mill Creek, Upper Lotts Creek also)
   --->Anderson (1847) (Cedar Creek, Beards Creek also)
            --->Bay Branch (1877)
            --->Canoochee (1910)

   --->Ash Branch (1804)
   --->Beards Creek (1804)
            --->Jones Creek (1806)
            --->Salem (1808) - No longer exists
            --->Cedar Creek (1811)
            --->Watermelon Creek
            --->Gum Branch
            --->Antioch Missionary (1845) (Salem also)
                      --->Jerusalem (1865)
                      --->Bull Creek Missionary (1878)
   --->Popular Springs (1807), Laurens County
   --->Brushy Bluff (1822) - No longer exists
   --->Union (1825), Lanier County
   --->Lanes (1831)
   --->Lower Black Creek (1839) (Ash also)
   --->DeLoach (1840)
            --->Ephesus (1888)
   --->Old Fellowship (1844)
            --->Fellowship Primitive (1851)
                      --->Antioch Missionary (1863)
            --->Friendship Missionary (1883)
   --->New Hope (1871) - No longer exists
   --->Statesboro (1896) (Bethlehem, Lower Lotts, Upper Lotts also)
            --->Brooklet (1914)
   --->Middleground (1897) (Lanes, Statesboro also)
   --->Red Hill (1902)

There are several churches that have not been situated in the outline, including Mt. Olive (1880) and Mt. Carmel (1884) which no longer exists, and Claxton (1909). This outline is a work in progress and may contain errors. It is subject to revision due to lack of knowledge of the early history of some of the churches.

If you have historical information about, or old photos of any of these churches, we would like to hear about it. Please email Elder Keith Hamilton and tell us what you have. Thank you!

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