Whooping Creek Primitive Baptist

Carroll County
Org 1852
Photography by Andy Sarge

Whooping Creek Primitive Baptist, founded in 1852, has been lovingly maintained by private owners, Benjamin and Joyce Merrell since the 1980’s.  The church had been closed and inactive since the late 1960’s and the Merrell’s intervention not only saved this treasure from further deterioration, they were able to make it serviceable again to the community.  The church is now active and has services the first Sunday of every month. This is fitting in that these old mid 19th century churches were usually pastored by a Circuit Rider preacher who took care of a number of churches on a regular basis. No one travels by horseback any more but the system is the same.  The little sanctuary is very unassuming, which is typical of Primitive Baptist structures – no embellishments to distract from the business at hand.  Also worth noting is the absence of a piano or organ.  Singing was an important part of the Primitive services, but it was all acapella.  Some of the interior furnishings you see in the gallery photos below were salvaged from the old wooden Carroll County Courthouse in Carrollton after it burned in 1927. 

Much can be learned of these early settlements from the little graveyards associated with the churches, and this is certainly true of Whooping Creek.  The quality of the gravestones reveal a prosperous 19th century farming community and the family plot interments indicate several generations of early Georgians who were raised and worshiped in the little church you see here.  There are a number of Confederate veterans in the graveyard and some research into their service quickly takes us back in time to the dark days when all their lives were torn asunder by the war…. almost all of them were privates and lower ranks. Those that survived came home, had lots of children and resumed the only life they knew.  We have no way of knowing how many didn’t return.

Click on the gallery photos below for more insight into the church interior as well as visit some of the early graveyard residents.  We are all grateful to the Merrells for their stewardship of this historical treasure.  She has faithfully served this farming community for over 175 years and is still going strong.