Submitted by Beth Collins
From the Buena Vista Baptist Church, Athens, GA, Record Book
Georgia State Archives, Manuscript Section
The church was located off the old Nowhere Road near Little Sandy Creek. It was begun in 1858 but moved just over the line into Jackson County. The cemetery begun there (in 1885) is located on the present day Nowhere Road and has a marker denoting it as the Buena Vista Cemetery and burials are still held there today. My husband and I own the land, and we have been told by some who have seen it that the original cemetery still exists in the woods. Dana Anderson, Elaine Neal, and I went traipsing through the woods one day and found the original roadbed and signs of foundations and rock walls but no cemetery.
I am currently (2005) tracing the deeds back through all the owners. This land was part of the original University of Georgia Land grant.
December 11th 1858
Constitution of the church called the Buenavista Baptist Church Decr 11th 1858- by brethren L. R. L. Jennings of the Athens Baptist Church and Prof. Cooper of The Madison Female College. The last named preached a Sermon suited to the occasion from Acts. And Br. Jennings propounded the usual questions as to Covenant, Articles of Faith, &c. which were read and previously signed by most of the members petitioning for church constitution, declared the church a regularly constituted Baptist church or organization distinct and independent from all others, and concluded with a feeling Address and Prayer. The following names were constituted in a church, viz
1. Mary Martin
2. Laura Martin
3. Harriet Watkins
4. T. Eveline Tolbert
5. Nancy Tolbert
6. Mary Smith
7. George Dudley
8. John Joiner
9. Annice Joiner
10. Rosella Nix
11. Samuel M. Barber
12. William G. Brown
13. William A. Martin
14. Sophronia Page
15. Rebecca Joiner
16. Thomas E. Parker
17. William S. P. Barrett
18. Elizabeth A. Barrett
19. Mary C. Brown
20. John White
21. Mrs. M. Barber
22. David Barnet
23. John I. Barrett
24. James L. R. Barrett
25. Martha A. Barrett
26. Wm. B. Barrett
27. William Ledbetter
28. Elizabeth Watkins
29. William T. White
30. Mahala Servant B. Yerby Sr.
The last four were baptized into the fellowship the day of this Constitution.
At the close of the constitution exercises the newly organized church proceeded to the
Discharge of some business by calling Rev. L.R.L. Jennings to act as the moderator-Where
On motion, it was agreed that a door be opened for the admission of members by Christian
Experience when Eveline Servant of Burrel Yerby Sr. came forward and was received for
Baptism to be baptized into the fellowship of this church to preclude the necessity of being
Received by the Athens Baptist Church and then by letter be dismissed back to this church.
It was also resolved that this church have monthly conferences and that the second Saturday
In each month be considered a suitable day (for the present) for this object.
It was also resolved that we have the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper administered on the
First conference season at which time it would be determined how often during the year this
This solemn rite should be administered. As before said being feelingly addressed by Rev.
L.R.L. Jennings, the congregation repaired to the water side where the last four names in the
Preceding list were buried with Christ in Baptism.
(Georgia, Clarke County)
In consideration of the love and affection I have for the Baptist Church called the Beunavista
I give the lot or parcel of ground of equal size to be conveyed by bro. William G. Barrett
Around said Buenavista Church containing three fourths of an acre more or less-my lot lying
On the left hand side of the road leading from Athens to NoWhere Court Ground and will
Meet the Corners of the Church lot in the middle of the road, corresponding with said church
Lot, corner for corner, and line for line in size the road being made now a perfectly exact
Dividing line between the two lots or parcels of ground, I give said lot that the Church may
Have the better advantage for Outlet and convenient room for the stopping of vehicles & the
Tieing of horsed and promenading of the Congregation with further and more serious
Consideration of laying out a Graveyard either on one side of the road or the other as the
Taste or Choice of the Church in Conference shall agree upon-I give said lot as I have before
Said so long as “conveyed House” shall continue to be a Baptist church, having its
Regular Worshipers its Prayer Meetings and Sunday School, and no part of the lot I convey
To become desecrated to the uses of Profligacy in any form Whatever whether it be in
Erecting building for the selling of Ardent Spirits or of perpetrating any of the gross
Immoralities of the times. And I do hereby Warrant and forever defend the said lot from
Myself and my Heirs forever: But should said “House Conveyed” cease to become a
Baptist church, and the lot I convey be perverted to other uses than desired as above
Indicated then Said lot to revert to me or my Heirs.
W,.S.Barrett signed John White
Buenavista, 10th Septyr.1859
Church in conference-Present Br. J.G. White, who acted a Mod. Grethren Burrell H. Yerby,
John White, Cm. Ledbetter, W.S.P. Garrett, W. G. Brown and Wife Espy Parks, Joiner and
Daughter Rebecca, Sister Barbour, & Son Marcus, and W.G. Barrett.
1. Opened a door for members. None came forward.
2. Read Minutes of last meeting-Br. D.H.Moncrief, who was then called to preach us the ensuing year, responded and signified his willingness to do his best in preaching for us
One Sabath in the month and Saturday before the year 1860-The association letter being read, was approved.
3. Bro. W.G. Barrett expressing a wish to change the form of the conveyance of the Church building and lot of land around it made the 12th day of February last so that it might belong exclusively to the members of the Baptist church called the Buenavista Baptist being with such a measure agreed to receive the following Deed of Conveyance from him-To wit:
Georgia, Clarke County:
In consideration of the love and affection I have for the Baptist Church called the Buenavista Baptist Church, I give the lot or parcel of ground on which Said house of worship Stands, to the use and benefit of all present members of said Church in good Standing and fellowship and to all future members of like character who shall succeed
The present members and so on to the end of time consistent with the laws of the land and all legal regulations and requirements to be a place for the
Worship of Almighty God according to Baptist views of the truths of the Everlasting Gospel-said Lot containing Three fourths of an acre more or less, around said house of Worship and having lands of W. S.P.,Barrett, John L. Wimberly, and John White as Boundaries all of which lot and house of Worship thereon I give as aforesaid to be the sole property of the Baptist Church Called the Buenavista Baptist Church, to the end of Time to be disposed of by them ass best to promote the interests of the Baptist Cause, in its immediate vicinity.
Given under my hand and Seal this 10th day of September AD 1859.
Signed W. G. Barrett
In the presence of
David W. Barnett
Buenavista Baptist Church of Christ met and after Singing reading & prayer by motion called Bro. James G. Mattox to the chair.
1st Invited brethren & Sisters to seats with us.
2nd Opened door of church, no application.
3rd Read & adopted minutes of last meeting.
4th Called for reference none found.
5th Fellowship. No disturbance reported.
6th General Business. The community through their chairman reported they had located the church near the “Adair Spring” in Jackson Cty with “right of way” to the spring, by motion adopted the report. Elected messengers to the association convening at the Lexington Baptist Church, Bro. W.F. Stark, Bro. James G. Mattox, & Bro. R.W, Tillman, alternate.
by motion granted letters of dismission to Bro. J. M. Sanders, & Sister Ophelia Yerby.
By motion send one dollar for Minutes agreed also to send money for missions.
Requested the clerk to prepare a letter for the association & by motion appointed a building com. Viz., James G. Mattox, R. W. Pittman, Joseph G. Mattox. W.J. Pitman to raise the money for building the house and decide also the size of the building &c, &c.
By motion adjourned—
William SD. Barrett ass’ clerk
James G. Mattox, Mod.
July 30, 1885
Buenavista Church of Christ met and after singing & prayer By motion went into conference Br. F.W. Starks, Mod.
1. read and adopted minut of Last meeting.
2. call for report of Building committee done nothing-moved that Brother W.F. Starks Leter be received back.
3. med that the Lamps of the Church be returned to Brother Mark Barber it bought with his money.
4. moved that there be a committee appointed to take Charge of the property of the Church and dispose of it as best they can-committee James S. Maddox, R.M. (?) Pittman, Joseph G. Maddox.
5. moved that the clerk wright laters and deliver to the Bretheren that or in ____fellowship
6. moved that all of the Church property not claimed sold and the funds given to Indian mishons. By motion adjoined. Joseph G. Maddox ass’ Clerk W.F. Stark,Mod
Tabular View of Baptisms, rec’t by letters.exclusions, deaths &c of the Buenavista Bap.Ch. Geo. Clarke Ch.
(Very few dates are actually given)
1. Mrs. Mary Martin Bap. 1858
2. Miss Laura Martin (Mrs. D. Barnett) Bap 1858
3, Miss Harriet Watkins Bap. 1858
4. Miss Eveline Tolbert Bap. 1858
5. Miss Nancy Tolbert Bap. 1858
6. Bro. Espy Parks, fr. Crooked Crk. Rec’d by letter 1858
7. Sister Elizabeth Parks, his wife Rec’d by letter 1858
8. Mr. John Joiner Bap. 1858
9. Mrs. A. Joiner, his wife, Bap.1858
10. Mr. George Dudley Bap. 1858; Excomm. 1859
11. Mr. Samuel M. Barbour Bap. 1858
12. Mr. William G. Brown Bap. 1858
13. Mr. William A. Martin Bap. 1858 Excomm. 1859
14. Mrs. Mary Smith Bap. 1858 Excomm. 1859
15. Miss Rosella Nix Bap. 1858 Excomm 1859
16. Caroline, Sert. Of B. Yerby Sr. Bap. 1858
17. Mrs. Elizabeth Watkins Bap.1858
18. Mr. William White Bap. 1858
19. Mahala, Servant B. Yerby Sr. Bap. 1858
20. Br. John White Bap. 1858
21 Miss Rebecca Joiner Bap. 1858
22. Miss Sophronia Page Bap[ 1858
23. Eveline, Servt. B. Yerby Sr. Bap. 1858
24. Mrs. Esther D. Barrett Rec’d Letter; Dismissed 1861
25. Miss Martha A. Barrett Rec’d Letter; Dismissed 1861
26. Miss Mary L. Barrett Rec’d Letter; Dismissed 1861
27. William G. Barrett Rec’d Letter; Dismissed 1861
28. William S.P. Barrett Rec’d Letter; Dismissed 1861
29. John J. Barrett Rec’d Letter; Dismissed 1861
30. James L.R.Barrett Rec’d Letter; Dismissed 1861
31. Mrs. Levina Harris Bap. 1859; Dismissed 1860
32, Mrs. L.H.White Rec’d Letter 1859
33. W. T. Thornton Rec’d Letter 1859
34. Jane A. Thornton Rec’d Letter 1859
35. Mary Brown Re3c’d Letter 1859
36. Elizth. A. Barrett constitute member Dismissed 1859
37. Wm. J. Britain Rec’d Letter 1861
38. David W. Barnett Rec’d Letter 1861
39. Joseph G. Maddex
40. J. T. Maddex
41. B. B. Nivn
42. John Barber
43. W. J. Pittman
44. John H. Pittman
45. James G. Maddox
46. R. W. Pittman
47. W.F. Starks
48. Cicero Barber
49. W.R. Sanders
50. J. M. Sanders
51. Y.W. Massey
52. C.D. Barrett
53. Marion Carson
54. William Tolbert
55. Sarah Carson
56. E.H. Carson
57 M.J. Carson
58. A.J. Lord
59. Julie Martin
61. Neomi Gray
62. Susan Booth
63. Ophelia Yerby
64. Matilder Barber
65. Marget Moon
66. Cela Wesmoland
67. Lula Tolbert
68. H.J. Barrett
71. Sarah Nevin
73. Mary Parks
74. Susan Brown
75. C.B. Pittman
76. F.M. Lord
77. S.C. Maddox
78. M.A. Pittman
79. P.A. Strickland
80. J.D. Barnett
81. S.E. Booth
82. M.F. Maddox
83. L.C. Sanders
84. Susan Turen
85. M.E. Pittman
86. S. Sanders
87. S.E.J. Bullock
88. M.J. Sanders
89. M.E. Nivn
90. Fannie Short
91. C.L. Porterfield
92. L.M. Barrett
93. H.J Barrett
94. Abrilla Johnson
95. Sarah Strickland
96. Amy Brooks
97. M. Segravs
98. Adaline Brooks
99. R.A. Maddox
100. A.H. Maddox
101. M.L. Maddox
102. O.E. Segravs
103. S.E. Barrett
104. Elijah Massey
105. Martha Kent