Bark Camp Baptist Church, 1848, Burke County

Bark Camp Baptist, the 7th oldest Baptist church in Georgia, sprang from one of the oldest communities in Burke County. Bark Camp was named for the lean-to housing built by early cattlemen. The congregation was established around 1788, and the first of three structures preceding this one was built soon thereafter. The present church is a vernacular interpretation of the Greek Revival and wonderfully executed.

When you approach this historic building, you’ll notice this sign. In a time when churches are kept locked, it’s so refreshing to see that the stewards of this wonderful place want to share it with others.

Once inside, you can’t help but be drawn into its history.

A plaque placed by Jerry A. Maddox in 2005 notes that the prominent Methodist missionary, Dr. Young John Allen preached here on 30 June 1878. A Burke County native, Dr. Allen served as missionary to China from 1860-1907, was a President of the Anglo-Chinese College in Shanghai, founded a home and school for girls, and founded and published Review of the Times (Wanguo Bangbao), one of the most influential Chinese periodicals of the 19th century.

Many Burke County pioneers are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church.

National Register of Historic Places


1 thought on “Bark Camp Baptist Church, 1848, Burke County

  1. Dr. Fay Stapleton

    Thank you so much for sharing. Visiting this church is on my “to do” list! There is an excellent history of this church in “The Hephzibah Baptist Association Centennial, 1794-1894,” by W. L. Kilpatrick, D. D. published in 1894. The Kilpatrick Association did a reprint in 2003, but it is not readily available. It is in the works to republish another printing of this book later this year, available in paperback and e-format on Amazon. The pictures in this edition will be taken from an original 1894 edition, and will be clearer than the 2003 reprint. In addition, a comprehensive index will be included, as the original has a very limited index. This book is a “must read” for anyone interested in the early history of the Baptist Church in East-Central Georgia, or Georgia history in general, as two are integrally intertwined.


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