Constituted in 1839, Lower Black Creek Primitive Baptist is one of the most historic churches in Bryan County. The present church was rebuilt after a fire in 1859. As of 2011, the congregation had dwindled to just two members, Deacon Gene Bryant and Thelma Kangeter. Deacon Bryant, with the assistance of Chip Killingsworth of Brewton-Parker College, is attempting to have a historical marker placed at the church and organizes a reunion for member families each year.Mrs. Kangeter’s son, Benny, was leading an effort to ensure the church remain in use for reunions, weddings, and funerals and the inside is well-maintained and restored, as well. The exterior remains in relatively good shape.
It’s so nice to see a church with such a history be preserved in a meaningful way. The unpainted pine finishings of the interior add to the primitive appearance of Lower Black Creek.
Copies of the “songbook” Primitive Hymns and funeral home fans sit at the ready on every pew, awaiting congregants and reminding one of what a busy place this once was.
The cemetery, among the largest in the area, indicates that the membership here was once very large, and it’s my hope that efforts to have a historic marker placed will be successful. It would be a shame to see a place so important to so many simply be forgotten. [Note- The bulk of my photographs of the cemetery were recently lost to a digital glitch and I will be replacing them soon].
Ed Nolan writes: My GGG Grandmother and Grandfather are buried here. According to my Grandmother their house was the old one on the left, on the curve towards Hendrix Park up the road from the church/cemetery. Assuming that’s still there…..haven’t been around there in some years.Story was that when Sherman’s men came thru, Grandmother Lavinia Geiger welcomed them into her home (after stashing Grandfather and the children out in the woods somewhere.
Giving the soldiers food, etc…..they went on their way without burning their houses, etc.
Are there any church records from the earliest days which might include a roster of church members’ names?
DEAR MS KINES. MY NAME IS ARLIE JOHNSON, AND I WAS ABLE TO RECEIVE SOME OF THE EAARLIER CHURCH RECORDS AND ONE OR TWO NEWSPAPER ACCOUNTS. THESE HAD BEEN IN THE POSSESSION OF THELMA KANGETER, BENNY’S MOTHER. THESE WERE RETURNED TO BENNY, I BELIEVE, SOME 5-6 YEARS OR MORE AGO; NOT SURE. I DON’T BELIEVE I STILL AM IN POSSESSION OF ANY OTHER MATERIAL. ONE OF THE FORMER PASTORS, PR. BANKS, WAS THE FATHER OF TWO OF MY AUNT’S, GENEVIA AND MITTIE. MY PATERNAL GRANDFATHER, GRANDMOTHER, SEVERAL AUNTS, 1ST AND 2D COUSINS ARE BURIED AT BLACK CREEK. SINCERELY, ARLIE JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org