Williams Creek Baptist

Warren County
Org 1787
Photography by Scott Farrar

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The Baptist Church of Christ at Williams Creek was constituted on December 22, 1787, at the headwaters of Williams Creek at Little River in that section of Wilkes Co., which became Warren Co., by the Act of 1793. Willis Perry gave the land on which the church was built, just northwest of the present site. During heavy rains, the creek would overflow and flood the cemetery and the land surrounding the church. Sometime in the latter part of the 19th century, the decision was made to relocate the church to its present location. Headboards of the earliest cemetery were made of wood or fieldstone and slowly disappeared over time.

According to early church records, there was a split in the leadership of the church in the early 1820s. One faction followed Billington Sanders and the other followed Thomas Rhodes. Sanders led the minority faction and petitioned the Georgia Baptist Association in 1822, bringing charges against Rhodes of a serious nature “affecting his moral character”. In an unusual action, the GBA issued a resolution stating that “the members of Williams Creek, who have connected themselves with said Rhodes, be therefore declared no church, but a disorderly faction. Further that the part of Williams Creek Church who has remained unmoved the said Rhodes, is hereby declared the proper church, and their conduct has the unqualified approbation of this body.” You will be relieved to find that said Rhodes was excommunicated in 1822 but later restored to membership. Shepherding the flock was no easy task in the early 1800’s.