Bethany Primitive Baptist Church & Arabia Cemetery, Clinch County

Historic Bethany Primitive Baptist Church Arabia Bay Clinch County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Bethany was established as a branch of Union Church in 1841 and was constituted in May 1847. It remains an active congregation, meeting on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month.

Historic Bethany Primtive Baptist Church Clinch County GA Photograph Copyriht Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

A pavilion for dinners-on-the ground is essential, as this style of Primitive Baptist meeting house is essentially a sanctuary with room for nothing else. They are very utilitarian, as are their Crawfordite cousins.

Bethany Baptist Church Dinner on the Grounds Pavilion Clinch County GA Photography Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

The church and grounds are situated on a high bluff of Arabia Bay, which is actually a Carolina bay surrounded by an extensive swamp. The cemetery has always been known as Arabia Cemetery, for its location. It’s the final resting place of many Clinch County pioneers.

Arabia Cemetery Clinch County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Perhaps the white sand led pioneers to call the land here “Arabia”. The cemetery can seem quite stark to those who have never seen these white sand burial grounds common in Southeast Georgia, but they really have a subtle beauty.

Arabia Cemetery Bethany Primitive Baptist Church Clinch County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

Arabia is particularly well-maintained. The beautiful decorative arch marking the entrance is a landmark itself, having been given in memory of R. G. Dickerson, who died in 1924, by Mrs. R. G. Dickerson and family. The crossroads near the church are known as Dickerson Crossing.

Historic Arabia Cemetery Arabia Bay Clinch County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

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4 Comments

Filed under --CLINCH COUNTY GA--

4 responses to “Bethany Primitive Baptist Church & Arabia Cemetery, Clinch County

  1. Carroll Higgs

    Brian,
    I appreciate the photos on Arabia Cemetery and the Church. My great grandparents and grand parents are buried there. We used to go to the Tomlinson Reunions there.
    Thank You,
    Carroll Higgs

  2. Jakk

    My relatives are the O’Steens too!

  3. Jenny Hansel

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Brian. I’d love to visit this church and cemetery some day.

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