Excerpted and contributed by Barb.
The information below came from a very brief history of Mountain Creek Baptist Church written by S. (Sam) P. Higgins. These excerpts from the history (below) contain all names mentioned in it. I'm interested in information about where these early people came from as well as their descendants.
I'm not sure what year this history was written, but Rev. Higgins, the author, died in 1939. My father purchased the farm in 1939-40 where the Rev. Sam Higgins lived, known as "Higgins Hill," where some of my family still live. My father was a deacon at Mountain Creek for many years and members of our family attended the church, (probably from the early years) which is the reason I'm interested in the early church members, where they came from, as well as those who moved on to other areas of the country.
Does anyone know where the Mulberry High School, known as "Perry-Rainey Institute" was, or where the school house stood that was used for church services by Mountain Creek before the church was built?
Would appreciate hearing from anyone with information on ancestors/descendants of these early members of Mountain Creek Baptist Church.
From a History of Mountain Creek Baptist Church (Pendergrass, Jackson Co., GA) by S. P. Higgins
Contributor's note: Rev. S. P. Higgins [from Jackson Co. Cemetery Book] was b. Dec. 20, 1851, d. June 6, 1939; his wife, Mary, June 20, 1852-May 18, 1901; Chastinie C., w/o Rev. S.P. Higgins, b. Feb. 1, 1863, d. Aug. 30, 1938
"In January, 1871, a little band of brethren on the plantations of Francis M. WHITMIRE, Terrell MURPHY, Nancy E. CARLISLE, commenced cutting logs to build a school house. When completed it was too late for school that year, and Brother W. H. BRIDGES held services in the school house once a month during the year and BRIDGES W.H., MURPHEY, TERRELL, and WHITMIRE, F.M., advocated the organizing of a church and the name of the church was suggested by Francis M. WHITMIRE and Terrell MURPHY. Elders J. M. DAVIS, C. M. CAIN and J. W. DAVIS were the presbytery who were invited to organize the church. The Baptist church at Mountain Creek (Pendergrass, Jackson Co.), GA, was organized October 1st, 1872, in the school house. Rev. J. M. DAVIS preached the sermon appropriate for the occasion. After the sermon, a motion was made that Rev. J. M. DAVIS act as moderator, which was carried."
People named, include:
Rev. G. L. Bagwell
Rev. M. V. B. Lankford (1887, served two years).
Rev. W. W. Simpson
Rev. F. V. Cheek (called in 1889 and served nine intervening years).
Rev. G. H. Collins (1907, served four years).
Rev. C. A. Strickland, (1912, served one year).
Rev. G. H. Collins was elected to the pastorate for 1913.
Brother Terrell Murphey was a local preacher and deacon. Rev. Murphy was b. in Jackson County. The Murphy family is of Irish descent and his ancestors were among the first settlers of the county.
S. P. Higgins (a native of Gwinnett County; b. Dec. 21, 1851. He joined the Alcova Baptist church in August, 1858 and was baptized by Rev. A. K. Tribble. He moved to Jackson Co. two years later and joined the Walnut church. Rev. J. M. Davis was serving at that time. He was licensed to preach on Saturday before the fourth Sunday in July, 1897, at Mountain Creek, in Jackson County, was called to the charge of Walnut Fork Church, September 4, 1897, and was ordained October 27th, the same year, at Mountain Creek Church, near where he then lived. He served Walnut church twelve successive years and left the church with four hundred eight (408) members....He has been a member of the board of trustees of Mulberry High School, which is known as Perry-Rainey Institute, respectively from organization of the school to the present time, chairman of the building committee and president of the board of trustees that directed the construction of the main building of the Institute, which was completed in 1910.
Written by W. H. MAXWELL
J. W. Richardson
W. H. Bridges, Jr.
C. B. Humphrey
J. A. Simmons
J. M. Gee
D. R. Richardson
Joseph M. Hayes
A. J. Murphey
L. E. Gee
On motion J. D. McEVER was elected clerk. The presbytery consisted of Rev. J. M. DAVIS, C. M. CAIN, J. W. DAVIS, deacons from Hopewell church; A. W. BELLE, Harmony; J. P. DOSS, H. D. HERMAN, Zion; H. J. RANDOLPH, John BROWN, J. D. McEVER, Walnut Fork church, Jeremiah MURPHY.
The church members were:
W. H. Bridges, Sr. M. J. Wallis
A. Wallis M. L. Simmons
Terrell Murphey S. S. Simmons
W. T. Barrett C. A. Cheek
W. C. Bridges M. J. Cheek
R. H. Cheek M. A. Bridges
N. E. Carlyle
M. A. Murphy
S. L. Carlyle
R. E. Wallis
M. A. J. Simmons
H. E. Simmons
Emeley V. Simmons
Rev. W. H. Bridges was the first pastor, but Rev. J. M. Davis was the first pastor to receive a stipulated salary. This was four years after the organization.
The first ordained minister was W. H. Bridges, Sr.
The first who were conscious of divine call to preach the gospel were:
H. D. H. Stewart
and 20 years after the organization, S. P. Higgins
The first delegates to represent the church at the association:
W. H. Bridges
First deacon was Terrell Murphey.
The first deacon ordained by this church was Ancill Higgins.
First clerk, L. M. Cheek, 1872 to 1873.
Second clerk, S. P. Higgins, 1873 to 1882.
Third clerk, L. C. Bridges, 1882 to 1885.
Fourth clerk, J. H. Simmons, 1885 to 1886.
Fifth clerk, J. A. Simmons, 1886 to 1889.
Sixth clerk, J. O. Ashton, 1889 to 1890.
Seventh clerk, A. J. Murphy, 1890 to 1895.
Eighth clerk, J. H. Simmons, 1895 to 1897.
Ninth clerk, J. E. J. Lord, 1897 to 1901.
Tenth clerk, R. C. Wood, 1901 to 1902.
Eleventh clerk, C. B. Murphy, 1902 to 1907.
Twelfth clerk, G. S. Smith, 1907 to 1912.
First S.S. superintendent, Terrell Murphey.
Second S.S. superintendent, S. P. Higgins.
Third S.S. superintendent, A. J. Murphy.
Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth S.S. superintendent, anon.
S.S. Treasurer, 1874: J. W. Wood.
Rev. W. H. Bridges was pastor of the church for six years...he went into the community of Mountain Creek in 1868 with a bible and school book in one hand and an ax in the other... This now ranks among the best churches in the country, from which largely Belmont, Talmo and Pendergrass churches were organized.
Rev. James M. Davis
Mrs. S. F. Bridges, wife of Rev. W. H. Bridges, Sr., deceased, and other devoted women of Mountain Creek church, Mrs. Martha Murphy, Mrs. Harriet E. Simmons, Mrs. Huldia Higgins, Mrs. Rachel Simmons, Mrs. B. J. Whitmire, Mrs. M. J. Kinney and Mrs. Mary L. Higgins, in connection with other good church workers...