Historic Markers Across Georgia

Upper Black Creek Church

Marker ID:  
Location: Mud Road SW of Black Creek Church RD.
County: Bulloch
Coordinates: N 32° 17.751    W 081° 40.783
  32.29585    -81.67971666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM7XR5
Upper Black Creek Church Marker
Photo by Ken Moser


Upper Black Creek Church

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Upper Black Creek met each month on the third Sunday and Saturday Before from the time she was organized in 1802 until the Church elected to meet every Sunday in 1957. Conference was every month on those Saturdays, and Upper Black Creek received new members only during regular conferences. Baptisms were held in Big Black Creek or millponds. Church discipline was serious and certain; The most common infractions were non-attendance, drunkenness and unchristian conduct. Forgiveness was frequent, and only the unrepentant were turned out of the church. Multiple ministers usually preached in the services on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, and services often lasted for several hours. The church´s first pastor, Isham Peacock was ordained in the same service in which Upper Black Creek was constituted. The presbytery consisted of Henry Hocombe, John Goldwire and Henry Cook. Other pastors were: John Albritton, Nathaniel Melton, Matthew Abritton, Henry Melton, Robert Donaldson, James Denmark William M. Grooover Sr., William S. Moore, John G. Williams, Millard F. Stubbs and James L. Smith. Earliest members included: James & Mary Bennett, William & Sophia Bragg, James and Nancy Denmark, David and Jane Goodman, Thomas and Martha Jones, George & Cynthia Lewis, Jordan & Sarah Lewis, Abraham & Ann Roberts and William & Mary Woodcock.

Upper Black Creek was built on Rebel Road, a colonial highway dating from the 1780´s. A major commercial artery, it became known as Mud Road in the early 1800s because continuous wagon and cattle traffic and its several stream crossings kept the road continuously wet and muddy.

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Upper Black Creek is one of the true pioneer churches of Wiregrass Georgia. The church was constituted on August 15, 1802 and was an evangelical outpost in the frontier wilderness. The church was a member of the Savannah River and later the Sunbury and Hephzibah Baptist Associations. From her members sprang a line of great Baptist Evangelists including Isham Peacock, John Albritton, Matthew Albritton Henry Melton, Jesse Goodman, Ryan Friar, William M, Groover, Sr. and Millard F. Stubbs. Some of the Baptist Churches which came out of her include Lower Black Creek (Bryan), Beards Creek (Tattnall), Poplar Springs(Laurens), Union(Lanier), Lanes, DeLoach, Old Fellowship New Hope-colored, Statesboro, Middleground and Red Hill (All Bulloch). Upper Black Creek was eminent in the movement opposed to corporate Missionism and sent William Groover and Malachi Denmark to the 1829 Limestone Convention in Washington County at which the Canoochee Primitive Baptist Association was organized. This Convention also came to define the Primitive Baptists in Georgia.

The first church meeting-house was a frontier log structure erected in early 1803 on the south side of Mud Road by David Goodman. His grandson, John Goodman erected the first sawn-lumber public building in Bulloch County as a new meeting-house for Upper Black Creek on the present site in 1835. That building was damaged beyond repair in the Hurricane of 1884, and the new church that was built in 1885 was replaced with a modern sanctuary in 1973.

Upper Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church
Upper Black Creek Church
Photo by Ken Moser