The Brantley County Historical and Preservation Society gives a "SPECIAL
THANKS" to, MR. FRANK WARD for a project started in 1998, emphasizing Brantley County's
church heritage. Other photographs have been added since that time,
but it was Mr. Ward that started this project, donating his time, paying all expenses, and
traveling all over Brantley County seeking out churches, old and new, of
which some were inactive. For his love of church history we say thanks to Mr. Frank Ward.
In the early pioneer days of Brantley County, Georgia, the words "church and cemetery" were
almost synonymous. You didn't find one without the other. The people of Brantley County have
always taken on a special interest in their churches. They donated land, lumber, and their building
talents. These old settlers recognized early that it takes a church to make a community the right kind
of place to live. They knew that churches take care of their own, explaining the reason for so many
cemeteries being located near old churches.
A great many of the earlier settlers belonged to the Primitive Baptist Church faith. They
were God-fearing men and women, who believed in obeying the laws of God. The name "Hard-shell"
came from their staunch adherence to principle. At one time, the Primitive Baptist Church
was one of the predominant denominations in Brantley County. In 1920-21, at the time Brantley
County was created there were at least seven primitive Baptist Churches in a sparsely populated
community, making up of about 250 members.
Today the number of churches in Brantley County has grown tremendously. A recent survey identified
over 50 church congregations. There are fewer active Primitive Baptist Churches today, but the
Baptist faith is still predominate among other varied beliefs, such as Methodists, Church of God,
Advent Christian, Holiness, and Pentecostal.