Originating on a high bluff of the Satilla River near Raybon in 1819, this congregation is one of the oldest and most historic in Brantley County. Mrs. Martha Mizell Puckett’s history of the church highlights much more information. There is no consensus as to why these early settlers left Raybon, but Judge Folks Huxford, South Georgia’s best-known genealogist, suggested they came to the Schlatterville area around 1822 to escape a cholera outbreak.
For a time, the congregation was known as Big Creek, but restored the name of High Bluff Church between 1878-80.
Still active, High Bluff is the largest congregation in the Alabaha Primitive Baptist Church Association.
Seat cushions and funeral home fans are the only “modern conveniences” to be found at High Bluff.
What moved me the most at this location was the magnificent cemetery, one of the largest in the area and the final resting place of many pioneers of South Georgia. I think of it as a sort of rural Bonaventure and could spend countless hours wandering its historic lots. A comprehensive guide to interments has been compiled for researchers and those with an interest in locating ancestors.
In a lot near the front of the church can be found the burial place of Lydia A. Stone, who was known as the Queen of the Okefenokee for her vast land holdings and business successes. Also buried here is her first husband, D. G. Stone (19 October 1878 – 18 August 1926), her second husband and heir, John Melton Crews (17 August 1906 – 7 January 1970), as well as his second wife, Kissie (8 September 1913 – 15 November 1947), and Mrs. Stone’s parents.
Adjacent to the Stone plot are two picketed enclosures retaining what appears to be the original woodwork, quite a rarity in the coastal climate of Brantley County.
This headstone, placed by the Sons of the American Revolution, is of great significance to genealogists and students of the American Revolution for its connection to General Francis Marion, better known as the Swamp Fox.