Little Ogeechee Baptist Church, 1912, Oliver

historic little ogeechee baptist church oliver ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

According to Dawn Daley, via present pastor Vernon Edenfield, this is the oldest church in Screven County, and thought to be the second oldest Baptist church in Georgia. Robert Peavy writes: Oliver native Miss Pauline Smith (1885-1963) indicated in her three-page historical sketch of the town of Oliver that the present building was erected about 1912 (when the old Methodist Church was built and when the town was incorporated—the School House, now gone, had been built in 1910). An old photograph of the short-lived Lutheran Church shows rather dimly, in the distance with the cemetery separating them, a not-overly fancy church with a neo-classical porch roof supported by four square columns, which would have replaced the original log building of the Little Ogeechee Baptist Congregation; thus, the present structure is at least the third building for this congregation, which dates to 1790. Robin Robbins also notes that the church was used as a set location for the 1974 movie, Buster and Billie.

Gravestone Art at Little Ogeechee Baptist Church Cemetery

Little Ogeechee, like many old cemeteries, is a beautiful showplace for the stonemason’s art. I’ve chosen a few of my favorite decorative headstones to share.

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery stephen t newton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Stephen T. Newton (29 May 1829-6 December 1882)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery naomi morton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Naomi Morton (1806-16 October 1887)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery bernard horton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Bernard Horton Huggins (25 August 1906-26 March 1908)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery lanier toddler photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Daughter of W.V. & L. O. Lanier (14 March 1917-2 February 1918)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery florie brewer photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Florie A. Brewer (12 August 1845-17 September 1891)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery oscar w brewer photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Oscar W. Brewer (17 October 1872-8 March 1889)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery miss levina morton photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Levina Morton (20 May 1825-16 June 1899)

little ogeechee baptist church cemetery martha dugger photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Martha A. Dugger (14 June 1829-13 February 1897)

little ogeechee baptist church miriam lee photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Miriam Lee (22 February 1908-22 November 1910)

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26 Comments

Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Oliver GA

26 responses to “Little Ogeechee Baptist Church, 1912, Oliver

  1. Jason Cone

    Hi all,

    I have been told that my 5th Great Grandfather Capt. William Cone was a pastor of this church in the 1790’s maybe??

    • Alice

      That is correct. He is my 5th Great Grandfather also. He was the founding pastor for the church. His home which still stands is nearby. I drove by it once years ago…wish I could remember where it was !

      • Jason Cone

        Awesome. I have heard about the old home site, but have no idea where it is. I live it Bulloch County and would love to see it one day. Thanks for the reply!

    • Ward Fielding

      I am related to a Cone who served in the Revolutionary War. Might be the same person? He was from Georgia.

  2. JohnRobert Peavy

    Oliver native Miss Pauline SMITH (1885-1963) indicated in her three-page historical sketch of the town of Oliver that the present building was erected about 1912 (when the old Methodist Church was built and when the town was incorporated—the School House, now gone, had been built in 1910). An old photograph of the short-lived Lutheran Church shows rather dimly, in the distance with the cemetery separating them, a not-overly fancy church with a neo-classical porch roof supported by four square columns, which would have replaced the original log building of the Little Ogeechee Baptist Congregation; thus, the present structure is at least the third building for that Congregation, which dates from 1790. Robert >

  3. Robin Robbins

    Hi this Church was used in a movie in 1974 called “Buster and Billie” the movie was made in Statesboro, Metter, and other areas. A big barn is at
    the beginning of the movie and it is in Metter and on this web site. The
    Metter Court House was also was.

    • Rebecca D. Lee

      My family and I lived across the street from the church at the time.. My kids were small and I,as everybody in this tiny town were interested in seeing and being a part of a movie being made, we walked over to the site.. our dog, Tip, followed us and made himself at home on the set..
      It was hilarious, but Tip is in that movie.. He is the brown mutt that is seen in several scenes.. I believe the church was paid $300.00 and
      some of the members were in the choir..

      • Joey

        Hi rebecca you said you use to live accross the street from the church? I do now. Do you have any photos of your old house if indeed it is the same one that I own now I would love to see them?

      • Rebecca D. Lee

        Hopefully it is our house that you live in because our’s is truly wrecked! I would love to think someone would love it like we did when we built it..it is the Savannah gray brick bungalow on corner across from what used to be Wasdin’s store..I will surely send pics if it is ours..

  4. Gerald

    The church was established 222 yrs ago. The present structure is the third in the history of the chruch and was build in 1912. There is a grave yard attached to the church property.

  5. john

    I met a man today that says his , ” Great – great – great …. ” Grandfather was the pastor that started this church. I am studying about Sherman’s March, and one of his staff, Henry Hitchcock, specifically refers to this church, and a former Yankee, then Converted to Seccessionism , Matthew Luffburow (sp).

    Lots to learn and research, no ??

  6. Linda

    my Great Great grand parents are burried in the church grave yard their last name is Cleary their head stone is sinking does anyone know of anyone i can get to fix this for me I live in a different state.pleaseE mail me if you know someone.My name is Linda Tharpe LDTharpe46@yahoo.com thank you

  7. Anne Bolton Thatcher

    My father, Rev. W.L. Bolton, pastored this church in the early 1960s. We lived in the church “parsonage,” the one 2-story antebellum house then (and now) standing in Oliver. It is about a block & a half west of the church and had been beautifully restored by the mid-1980s. Although “Brother Bolton” as the church members referred to him died in 1971 my mother, Mrs. Ruby Bolton, just this month led her last Women’s Missionary Union meeting at her Baptist church in Seattle. Studies of Georgia historical markers led me to conclude that this church was likely a stopping point/perhaps an overnight post of some of General Sherman’s troops on their ‘march to the sea’ and Savannah in December, 1864.

    • Rebecca D. ee

      I certainly do remember your Dad and Mother.. you have a brother named Chuck.. I taught the Intermediate SS Class and Ruby , Bro Bolton and I took them on a trip to Savannah and had a picnic lunch at Daffin Park on Victoria Drive.. This was where the Base Ball Team played.. After games and lots of fun stuff, Ruby asked me to share with them my testimony ..I remember saying to her that they wouldn ‘t believe anything I said after seeing us being so silly during game time… She impressed on me that was ALL the reason to do it… that being a Christian wasn’t just being serious and stiff-lipped all the time…. That lesson that day has forever made an impact on my Spiritual life ever since…

  8. Dawn Daley

    This is the oldest church in Screven Co (1790) and the 2nd oldest Baptist church in GA I am told by Vernon Edenfield the present pastor. There is a grave yard with many stones and a list in Screven Co. Cemetery books in the Screven Co. Library-see front desk. I did find the records of the church in the Statesboro, Ga Library on micro-film, but they are very hard to read. Good luck, Dawn Daley; Sylvania, GA.

    • I wish I knew more of the history, Dawn, but I will add the date to the title to reflect your information. I was unable to discern from anyone in the town the date of its construction, but I knew it was very old.

  9. Rebecca Hynum

    Do you happen to know if when this church was built (possibly pre-1826?) and if the church has a grave yard attached to it. I am searching for the grave site of John Stanford who died in 1826 after preaching a sermon at Little Ogeechee Church in Screaven Co GA.

    • Alex Lee

      This is not the original church building. It is at least the second building if not one of several preceding structures. The previous structure which was ante-bellum had the peculiar configuration of the pulpit being elevated and in the center of the church. The first minister, Rev. William Cone lived across the river and would swim the river to get to the service.

      • Thanks, Alex…I’m glad to hear more of the history of this structure. I was very skeptical that it dated to 1790, but had little information either way…

      • Jason Cone

        Capt. William Cone is my 5th Great Grandfather. I guess my love for the Ogeechee has been passed down from him! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Alex Lee

      John Stanford died about 4-5 miles from here at the home of Samuel Newton (my gr gr gr grandfather.) If he was not taken back to Bulloch Co. across the river (unlikely) he was probably buried in the Newton-Conner-Archer family cemetery.

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