Bark Camp Baptist

Burke County
Org 1788
Photography by John Kirkland

Bark Camp Baptist is one of the oldest churches in the Georgia back country. As early as 1740, there were white men in this territory hunting and grazing on Indian land. The Creek Indian treaty of 1763, signed in Augusta, tripled the size of the state of Georgia and settlers began moving into the area in substantial numbers. Some of these were well to do planters who eventually developed large plantations. Bark Camp Baptist was organized in 1788 before George Washington was elected president. It was a center of worship, culture and hospitality and many wealthy plantation owners were among the early members.

The church began with 29 charter members on land that was donated by Zebulon Cock. Over the years, the congregation has built four houses of worship, the first being a rounded log structure. The present building was built by Moses Fuller in the spring of 1847 at a cost of $1,700. A large marker honoring Mr. Fuller is located in the cemetery. Charles A. Burton gave the church four acres and later sold an additional four acres for $25. Early records of the church go back to 1823. The earliest records of the church have been lost. The cemetery contains many prominent members of the community as well as Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans. It is known that some of Sherman’s raiders visited the church in Dec. of 1864.

Bark Camp closed its doors in 1958 as the community dwindled and the younger generation moved away. Gone are the sights and sounds of regular worship but the Bark Camp church building, in all its glory and dignity , still graces the Georgia woodlands surrounding it. A 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization was established and the old church has been given new life. Mr. Leonard Quick has been instrumental in the the restoration of the church. His family was a member of the church in the 40’s and 50’s and Mr. Quick was ordained as a Baptist Minister at Bark Camp in 1953. After his retirement, he moved back to Bark Camp and was the founder of the restoration movement. God love you sir. Thank you for your service.