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Little Ogeechee Baptist to celebrate 225 years
Thu, 09/17/2015 - 8:50am
It’s been 225 years since Little Ogeechee was established and God is still blessing this church.
To commemorate the Little Ogeechee Baptist Church’s anniversary, on Sept. 20 speakers will be Dr. Kevin Smith from the Georgia Baptist Convention; Steve Longcrier, executive director of the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails; and Rev. Bobby Braswell, Associational Missionary at Middle Baptist Association.
Special music will be by singer-songwriter Archie Jordan. Pastor Vernon Edenfield and all members invite all to come to these special services.
The church also will begin revival services one week later on Sept. 27 with a morning and evening service that Sunday and evening services on Sept. 28, 29 and 30.
Little Ogeechee Baptist Church was organized in 1790 and is the oldest Baptist church in the Middle Association. Rev. William Cone was the first pastor and Hugh Graham was the first deacon.
Records show that the church exercised strict discipline over members, whether with regard to worldliness in the home or making false property tax returns. Members were even excommunicated for some offenses.
The religious zeal of the pioneer members is shown in a story handed down from the early church fathers that the first worshippers carried their guns for protection against hostile Indians while going to the meeting house and to ward off attacks should any threaten the services.
In the 14th year of its history, the church established a mission at Cowpen Branch, which is now Corinth Church. During the period from 1832 to 1870, Little Ogeechee was responsible for the organization of Wades, Tilman’s Ferry, Union and Elam (Egypt) churches, as well as St. John’s Chapel.
In 1808, according to the church minutes, Little Ogeechee was first affiliated with other churches in the Hepzibah Association.
In 1833, this church led in the formation of a local association of churches.
In 1850, the first reference to support foreign missions is noted when one of the brethren was appointed to receive contributions to be forwarded to the Association for this particular cause.
On June 1890, the church congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary with Rev. T.B. Cooper, a former pastor, preaching the centennial message on the accomplishments of its first 100 years. W.R. Thompson was church’s pastor.
On Nov. 4, 1912, the building that exists now was complete and ready for services. W.J. Stockton was the pastor at that time.
On Aug. 5, 1990, Little Ogeechee celebrated its 200th anniversary with Dr. Michael Guido (The Sower) preaching the Bicentennial message. Current pastor Vernon Edenfield was the minister 25 years ago.