Concord Primitive Baptist

Jasper County
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Org 1808
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Photography by Cate Short

Concord Primitive Baptist was formed in 1809, according to a History of Primitive Baptists published in 1955.  To put this into historical perspective, this was the second term of Thomas Jefferson, who was succeeded by James Madison shortly thereafter.  Jasper County had been created in 1807 on land ceded by the Creek Indians as part of the Treaty of Washington in 1805.  The county was originally named Randolph County,  in honor of John Randolph of  Virginia.  But his opposition to the War of 1812 made him so unpopular with Georgians that the legislature renamed it Jasper County, after a Revolutionary War hero.  

The 1805 treaty ceded the land between the Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers, making Concord one of the first churches on what was now the western frontier of Georgia.  Life in the Georgia backwoods was a hard one and these were tough people. In addition to offering spiritual comfort, the church provided everything a community had to have in order to function as a civilized society, including maintaining law and order.  Unacceptable social behavior resulted in a formal hearing before senior peers in the church. Redemption was possible but continued bad behavior resulted in excommunication – the ultimate punishment in these small rural communities. 

We are fortunate that the original minutes of Concord have been preserved on microfilm in the Tarver Library at Mercer University.  They give us great insight into the unmistakable roll of the church in these early times on the frontier.  The minutes tell us the present church was built in 1821, and though inactive for some time, she has been structurally sound for 200 years. The first entry for the minutes begin in October of 1812.  One of our great researchers, Virginia Bolton, has transcribed some of these early minutes, complete with some genealogy of the participants.  These minutes from 1812 to 1829, complete with lots of misspelled words, reveal much about life on the western frontier of Georgia. You can access them HERE.

A small sampling of the early minutes is below:

April 3, 1813

A Charg Layed agains Brother Micajah Sansum, by Brother Lacey for a Cusin him with Liing & etc. The Church has appointed a Committee, wit Solomon Groce, August 6, 1814: “A Charge Brought In By Brother Luke Williams from a report against Brother Bartlet Eaves for getting Drunk and misbehaving”John Brown, Luke Williams, James Reaves, & Zacheriah Falkner and fore they to Report to the next Conference. February 1, 1817: Excommunicated Brother John Carter. July 23, 1819: “Received by Experience Sister Charlotty Faulkner.””The charge by Brother Raid against Brother Williams settled between them selves.” “Excommunicated Nathan Williams For Raising an accoumpt and swaring to the same against William Ferril which we believe to be Rong”

October 5th 1817

Met according to appointment and after prayer by brother Luke Williams proceeded to business in conference Chose brother Williams moderator, excommunicated W. Woodruff’s Boson for gitting drunk and fighting – excommunicated W. Jackson’s Jack for commiting adultry and refusing to hear the Church, excommunicated W. Woodruff’s Smart for the charge laid in against him.

July 21st 1821

Met in conference agreeable to appointment and after a sermon delivered by Brother White proceeded to business. Brother Read came forward with an acknowledgment for Taking eight dollars for a bee hive When he had the hives in him self that was robed and the honey taken out by some of his neighbours sons and on his promising to restore the money back the church feel to forgive him Brother Hearn came forward with an acknowledgment for drinking too much Spirits the church feel to forgive him Brother Daniel Tucker came forward with an acknowledgment for getting angry with a man that come to his own house and abused him and his family and using unsavory language and getting his gun and making the attempt to shoot him, the church feel to forgive him The church appoint Brother John Reaves Brother John Homes & Brother Wiley McClendon to go and see Mrs Brown and get what information they can about a report that is now in circulation about Brother James McLeroy in offering improper conduct to her and report to the church  The church Excommunicated Brother Frances S Martins Negro woman Anaca for living in adultery  Excommunicated Brother Robert Beckerstaffs Ben for living in adultery  Sister Nancy Jacksons Cesar came forward and give the church satisfaction about the report against him the report was that he lived in adultery but appears to be groundless The church appoint Brother John Faulkner to site Brother James McLeroys Dolly to our next conference to answer to a report against her for living in adultery

The cemetery beside the church contains the remains of some of these early settlers.  You can click HERE for some of the genealogy in the cemetery. We are grateful to the Bennett family, the current owners, who have taken such good care of this wonderful tribute to early Georgia history. Be sure to click and scroll the gallery photos below for more information about Concord Primitive Baptist.

 

Read the Church Minutes HERE.

Additional Graveyard Research HERE.

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