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Houston County Black  Heritage

"Thei​r DNA is BURIED in your SOUL"   ~  "WE are the HOPE and the DREAM of the SLAVE"

         Sandbed Baptist Church has a history that is older than any other black church in the county. My goal is to have it placed on Georgia’s historical registry.  Sandbed Baptist Church was created by former slaves who were members of the Sandridge Baptist Church.    Sandridge was established around 1836 by white settlers of Houston County, (The Hargroves, Holmes, Powell, Baskins, Durhams and Bryans to name a few). These settlers along with some of their slaves worshipped at Sandridge Baptist Church from 1836 until August 20, 1865.


       On December 22, 1860, the church resolved to move the constitution of the church from Sandridge to the new church house at Houston Factory, naming it Houston Factory Baptist Church and later changed the name to its present-day name of Houston Lake Baptist Church.


         On January 21, 1861, the opening minutes as Houston Factory Baptist Church tells of the merger with Smyrna Baptist Church and lists names of those transferred from Smyrna. The Black members of the church at Sandridge was last mentioned in the minutes of August 20, 1865.


            (There are various dates of the creation of Sand Bed Baptist Church. It is recorded that the church started in 1849 –  but in all actuality- the slaves attended Sandridge Baptist Church from 1836 until 1860 along with their slaveowner.   The pastor to the “colored” congregation (under the watchful eye of the white pastor – of course) was Rev. Munson –  who was also “colored” and only allowed to preach to the “colored” congregation in the church after the white services  had taken place).


      Sandridge documents state that slaves had been freely admitted to the congregation since the 1830s when "Brother Sam”, a man of color was received by letter as property of C. Wright and was granted dismission in 1856.  By 1855, Sandridge records show 33 white members and 76 black members.

  

Over the years some of the members were dismissed for running away, theft, adultery, or profane language. Most all of them were eventually re-instated.  


Sand Ridge Baptist Church minutes 1836-1860 regarding some of the slave members: 


 7 Sep 1843 - Ben, a man of color, property of Handy Hargrove rec’d by experience.

9 Sep 1843 - Shade a man of color and property of C.D. Stocks, and Kinson a man of color and property of R.W. Baskins.

22 Sep 1843 - Prusia a woman of color and property of William O. Baskins, and Becca a woman of color and property of H. Hargrove, were

                        rec’d by experience.

23 Sep 1843 - Betsey a woman of color and property of Benjamin Bryant, were rec’d by experience.

20 Oct 1843 - Toney a man of color and property of William B. Bryant, and Lucy a woman of color and property of H. Hargrove, rec’d by 

                        experience.

21 Oct 1843 - Melenday a woman of color and property of R.W. Baskins rec’d by experience.

29 Apr 1844 - Sabra a woman of color and property of estate of H. Talton rec’d by experience. Jim a man of color and property of estate of 

                       H. Talton rec’d by experience.

25 May 1844 - Sam a man of color and property of Mr. T. Cato presented a ltr for membership but Mr. Cato’s wife being absent, he was 

                         not received.

26 Jul 1844 - Sophy a woman of color and property of Sarah Liptrot; Ann & Milly women of color, and Fort a man of color, all property

                        of H. Hargrove.

27 Jul 1844 - Bob a man of color and property of James A. Bryan rec’d by experience.

21 Sep 1844 - A.T. Holmes, Moderator. H. Hargrove, James G. Baskin and J.G. Hargrove appointed committee to investigate charges against 

                       Ben a man of color and property of R.W. Baskin.

26 Oct 1844 - A.T. Holmes, Moderator. Church agreed to retain Ben a man of color in fellowship.

23 Nov 1844 - Mary and Charlotte women of color and property of Hardy Durham rec’d by experience.

22 Feb 1845 - Susan and Silvy women of color and property of James Holmes rec’d by experience.

25 May 1845 Floroe a woman of color and property of J.C. West, rec’d at water.

26 Jul 1845 - appointed a committee to investigate charges against Moses a man of color and property of H. Hargrove. Tom a man of color 

                       and property of J.G. Baskin, was rec’d at the water.

25 Aug 1845 - Nathan a man of color and property of H. Hargrove and Mayo a man of color and property of J.C. West, were rec’d by 

                        experience.

27 Aug 1845 - Chloa a woman of color and property of H. Hargrove

27 Sep 1845 - Moses (Hargrove) a man of color charged with thief was cut off from fellowship after hearing the committee report.

21 Nov 1845 - Hasty a woman of color and property of Edmond Bass was received by experience.

23 May 1846- Aden a man of color and property of Henry Ware was rec’d by experience.

26 Jul 1846 - Moses a man of color and property of H. Hargrove was restored to fellowship.

27 Jul 1846 - Minty, Silvy, Taff, and Malindy slaves of A.W. Stephens were rec’d by experience.

22 Aug 1846- Jim a man of color and property of Jas. G. Baskin, was dismissed on theft charges.

24 Oct 1846 - Shade a man of color. Received letter from J. Liptrot asking for restoration to the church and appointed Jas. Holmes to reply. 

                        Heard charges of theft against Fort a man of color the property of H. Hargrove, and cut him off from fellowship.

24 Apr 1847 - Tony a man of color, the property of William B. Bryant was charged with drunkness and a committee was appointed to see 

                        him. Henry a man of color, the property of H. Tarver, was rec’d by ltr. Sam a man of color, the property of H. Tarver, was

                        rec’d by experience.

22 May 1847 - Sarilla a woman of color the property of Bej. Bryan, was rec’d by experience. Heard case of Tony a man of color, and retained

                        him in fellowship. Rose a woman of color, the property of A.W. Stephens, was rec’d by experience.

26 Jun 1847 - Tabitha a woman of color, the property of Bej. Bryan, was rec’d by experience. Robert a man of color, the property of William 

                       Bryan, was rec’d by experience. Mariah a woman of color, the property of Thomas Cato, was rec’d by experience. Rachel a 

                       woman of color, the property of B. Bryant, was rec’d by experience.

25 Mar 1848 - Ester woman of color, the property of B. Bryan, rec’d by experience. Eady a woman of color, the property of William Bryan, 

                        rec’d by experience. Sally, Any, Selvy, and Susan women of color, the property of Jas. Holmes, called for ltr’s of dismissal -

                        granted. A committee to see Robert a man of color, the property of William Bryan, on charges of theft.

22 Apr 1848 - Sophy a woman of color, property of Sarah Liptrot, cut off from fellowship on charges of adultery.

21 May 1848 - Ned, Wiley, and Simon, men of color and property of Benj. Bryan rec’d by experience.

24 Jun 1848 - Eveline, Eliza, and Jacob, colored property of William Bryant rec’d by experience. Robert a man of color and property of 

                       William Bryan cut off from fellowship for theft.

21 Aug 1848 - Turner and Allen, men of color and property of Bej. Bryan, rec’d by experience.

23 Sep 1848 - H. Hargrove, L. Stanley, O.D. Tucker, Jas. G. Baskin, and J.G. Hargrove were appointed to committee to encourage or 

                        discourage our Colored applicants to the church.

22 Sep 1849 - Louis a man of color, the property of B. Bryan rec’d by experience. Joe, Isaac, and Floyd, men of color and property of H. 

                        Hargrove, were rec’d by experience.

27 Oct 1849 - Ben a man of color, the property of H. Hargrove, rec’d by experience. Hardy Hargrove called for ltr of dismission for himself, 

                       Sarah Hargrove, and servants Becca, Lucy, Ann, Milly, Chloa, Joe, Isaac, Floyd, Ben, Nathan, and Moses - granted

24 Nov 1849 - Kinion a man of color and property of R.W. Baskin called for ltr of dismission which was granted. Pheby, a man of color and 

                        property of H. Bunn, was rec’d by ltr.

22 Dec 1849 - Tener, a woman of color and property of H.H. Tarver, was rec’d by experience.

23 Dec 1849 - Jane, a woman of color and property of H.H. Tarver, was rec’d by experience.

23 Feb 1850 - Nathan and Moses, men of color and property of R.W. Baskin, rec’d by experience.

27 Apr 1850 - Arthur, Harriet, and Hester, colored property of B. Bryan, rec’d by experience.

21 Dec 1850 - Tom a man of color and property of Jas. G. Baskin, charged and expelled for adultery & being repeatedly demonstrated.

26 Apr 1851 - Alley, woman of color and property of B. Bryan, rec’d by experience. Len & Peggy, colored property of F. Tarver rec’d by 

                        experience - baptism of Peggy deferred on account of bad health.

26 Jul 1851 -   Killis, slave of William Bryan, rec’d by experience.

23 Aug 1851 - Lucy, slave of J.G. Baskin, charged with adultery and judgement withheld to next conference.

27 Sep 1851 - Lucy, woman of color retained in fellowship.

22 May 1852 - Moses, slave of R.W. Baskin, charged with theft, apt’d committee to investigate.

25 Jun 1852 - Heard committee report on Moses, man of color, and voted that he no longer be considered a member. Austin, slave of 

                       Benjamin Bryan, charged with immoral conduct ( a runaway) and dropped from membership.

27 Jun 1852 - Chaney, a slave of W. Bryant, rec’d by letter.

24 Jul 1852 - Arthur, Allen, and Simeon, slaves of Benjamin Bryan, charged with immoral conduct (run away). Second sabbath of each 

                       month set as a day of conference for “our Colored friends” to inquire into all such matters as above.

8 Aug 1852 - Met in conference with colored people. R.W. Baskin, L. Stanley, and William S. Moore, appointed to committee to see Arthur, 

                      Allen, and Simeon, men of color.

27 Aug 1852 - Committee reported on Arthur, Allen, & Simeon, but postponed judgement until next conference with colored friends.

12 Sep 1852 - Jas G. Baskin, Moderator pro Term. In conference with colored friends. Arthur and Simeon, men of color were pardoned. Case 

                       of Allen delayed due to his absence due to sickness.

10 Oct 1852 – Conference with colored friends. Case of Allen postponed till next conference with colored friends.

23 Oct 1852 - Henry, a slave of William Bryan, rec’d by experience. Sabra, property of Henry Talton, deceased, called for letter of dismission 

                       which was granted.

14 Nov 1852 - Conference with colored friends. Rose, slave of F.M. Talbert, rec’d by experience. Allen, slave of Benj. Bryan, was voted to be 

                       excluded as he did not make proper acknowledgement to charge. Arthur, slave of Benj. Bryan, was voted to be excluded as he

                       again was charged with immoral conduct (run away for 2nd time). Silvey and Mariah, slaves of estate of F.M. Tarver, postponed

                       for membership until permit received.

26 Feb 1853 - Wilson Smith called for letter for a colored sister, the property of Henry Brown.

8 May 1853 - In conference with colored people. The case of immoral conduct against Hasty, property of Edward Bass, was continued until 

                      next conference with the Blacks.

12 Jun 1853 - In conference with colored people. Hasty, property of Edward Bass, was cut off from Church by unanimous vote.

14 Aug 1853 - Heard case of Henry and Silvey, property of F.M. Tarver’s estate, who were charged with very immoral conduct.

9 Oct 1853   - On hearing of their case, Henry and Silvey, property of the F.M. Tarver estate, were both expelled.

25 Mar 1854 - Church resolved to have preaching for the colored people at two o’clock on Sabbath evening of regular meetings.

23 Apr 1854 - Henry, property of estate of F.M. Tarver, came forward and was restored to membership. Bill, property of E.A. Nesbit, came 

                       forward and related his experience without permit - case referred to next conference. Eve, property of Mrs. C.J. Stephens, 

                       came forward and related her experience without permit - case referred to next conference. Heard case of Mayo, property of 

                      J.C. West, charged with profain swearing and other immoral conduct - On motion he was expelled.

28 May 1854 - Bill, property of E.A. Nesbit, rec’d by experience and was baptized. Eve, property of Mrs. C.J. Stephens rec’d by experience

                       and baptized. Matilda, property of Cad Rains, rec’d and baptized.

25 Jun 1854 - Moses, property of R.W. Baskin, restored to membership. Robert, property of William Bryan, desiring to be restored was 

                       asked to obtain recommendation from his overseer.

27 Aug 1854 - Ann, property of R.W. Baskin rec’d by experience.

24 Sep 1854 - Mary, property of R.C. Bryan, rec’d by experience.

29 Oct 1854 -  Robert, property of Wm. Bryan, restored to membership. Squire, property of Wm. Bryan, rec’d by experience. Hetta and 

                        Daniel, property of Wm Bryan, rec’d by experience.

26 Nov 1854 - At waterside. Elizabeth and Mary, property of Benj. Bryan, rec’d

23 Dec 1854 - Letters of dismissal to Eve, a colored woman the property of Mrs. J.C. Stephens.

22 Apr 1855 - At waterside. Henry, Jerry, Jim, Jiney, and Amanda, all property of Cad Rains, were rec’d. Silvey and Lucey, property of R.C. 

                       Bryan and Nelly, property of R.W. Baskin, were rec’d by experience.

23 Jan 1855 - Moses, property of R.W. Baskin, charged with concealing theft.

21 Jul 1855 - Nathan, property of Henry Jackson, rec’d by experience. Moses, property of R.W. Baskin, charged with concealing theft, was 

                      excused from the charge.

22 Jul 1855 - Cooley, George, John, and Henry, were rec’d by experience at waterside. Later at house, Marcus, property of Mr. Rains, was 

                       rec’d by experience, on recommendation of Mr. Huff.

26 Aug 1855 - Green, property of C. Rains, rec’d by experience on recommendation of E.O. Buff. Washington, property of Hardy Durham, was 

                        rec’d. John, property of C. Rains, was excommunicated for running away without cause. Amanda, property of C.R ains, was 

                        excommunicated for charge of adultery.

27 Oct 1855 - Tom & Gim, property of Henry Jackson rec’d by experience.

25 Nov 1855 - Heard case of theft and adultery against Moses and he was excommunicated. Ann, charged with adultery, was also 

                       excommunicated. Both property of R.W. Baskin.

23 Feb 1856 - John & wife Prusia, property of Wm. O. Baskin granted ltr’s of dismission.

24 Feb 1856 - In conference with colored members. Letha, female property of Henry Jackson, rec’d by experience. The case of Andrew, 

                        property of C. Rains, charged with improper conduct (language) towards his overseer C.O. Buff was continued. On motion, 

                        letters of dismission granted to Daniel, Cooley, Jim, Little Henry, Big Henry, Matilda, Caroline, and Lucy, all property of C. 

                        Rains.

25 May 1856 - Case of Andrew, property of C. Rains, was heard on charge of immoral conduct and he was excommunicated. George, 

                        property of same, charged with absenting himself from church.

27 Jul 1856 - Martha, property of Henry Jackson, rec’d by experience. Thornton, property of John Ross, rec’d by ltr. Old brother Sam, property

                       of C. Wright, granted letter of dismission. George, property of C. Rains, charged with contempt of church was restored to 

                       fellowship. Bill, property of E.A. Nesbit, charged with theft which he confessed and was excommunicated.

24 Aug 1856 - Reddie, a man slave and property of Henry Wimberly rec’d by experience. Gold, a man slave and property of Hardy Durham 

                       and William, property of E.A. Nisbett, rec’d. Jarry, a man slave and property of C. Rains, was expelled for adultery and other 

                       immoral conduct.

28 Sep 1856 - Amanda, property of C. Rains, was restored to membership. On motion, agreed to grant letters to all colored members 

                        belonging to estate of C. Rains.

26 Oct 1856 - Frederick, property of David Halliburton, rec’d by experience.

22 Feb 1857 - J.R. Horne, Moderator. Heard case of James White and John Baskin, charged with attempted assault on each other. Committee 

                       reported the dispute settled.

22 Mar 1857 - Resolved to have the church house repaired…by recovering…change pulpit at north end…and (seats) changed to correspond…

                       two doors cut one each side of the pulpit and shutters made to same, two pieces of steps made and window lite over the 

                       pulpit. William S. Moore, R.W. Baskin, O.D. Tucker, Jesse Bateman, and David Wilder appointed to building committee and 

                       said committee let the job of work out to Richard L. Farr at $125. (Repairs to the church – this church is the Sandbed Church 

                       that was dragged to its present location off 247, on Sand Bed Road)

23 May 1857 - Dempsey, Rebecca, Sarah, Peggy, Frances, and Milly, slaves of Benj. Bryan, rec’d by experience.

27 Jun 1857 - Ann, property of J.Ross, rec’d by experience.

25 Jul 1857 - Isaac, Harry, Elizabeth, and Nancy, slaves the property of Benj. Bryan and Charty, property of Henry Jackson, rec’d by 

                       experience.

26 Jul 1857 - Fanny, property of Henry Jackson, rec’d by experience at the water. Jane, property of Isaac C. West, rec’d by experience at the

                      church. Ann, property of R.W. Baskin, was restored.

27 Feb 1858 - Arthur, Henry, Chaney, Eady, Evelina and Squire, property of William Bryan, granted letters of dismision. Lenda, property of 

                       R.W. Baskin, granted letter of dismission.

28 Nov 1858 - Nally, property of George Walker, rec’d on condition she bring a permit from her master or overseer. Ben, property of R.W. 

                       Baskin, was cut off from fellowship on a well authenticated charge of theft by unanimous vote.

26 Jun 1859 - R.W. Baskin called for letters of dismission for Sam, Lenn, Peggy, Henry, Tener, and Mariah, colored property of F. Tarver, a 

                       minor, which was granted.

21 Jan 1860 – In conference with colored members. Nathan Baskin reported sister Ann Baskin with a charge of contempt and also Neley 

                        Baskin with charge of adultery. Moses Baskin, Nathan Baskin and Nathan Jackson aptd. Committee to “wate on” them.

22 Apr 1860 - Joe, property of Mrs. Catherine Wardlow rec’d by experience. The committee reported on case of Neley (Baskin) and she was 

                        excommunicated.

22 Dec 1860 - The church resolved to move the constitution of the church from Sandridge to the new church house at Houston Factory.

 

The Colored portion of the church at Sandridge is last mentioned in the minutes of 20 Aug 1865 


                 Sometime after 1861, the slaves were granted 2 acres of land to start their own church. There was an old building already on the property and it was used as their house of worship. Within the first few years, the old building burned down. According to the CGGS (Vol. 11, No. 1 p.17; No. 2, p. 58; No. 3, p.117), in 1865, the old church building of Sandridge Baptist Church was donated to the “colored” members, who reorganized as the SandBed Baptist Church.  Those members dragged the old church building  nearly four miles, using only rope and logs, from the Wilna (now Kovac Road) community, to its present day location,  which is what remains of the Bryan Plantation.   Just a stone's throw away  was the Home of the slaveowner, whose remains are buried on the home grounds.    

      The oldest legible grave in the church’s cemetery is that of Rev. George Garrett Taylor 1880-1955.  He was the church’s fourth pastor and served for 57  years.


Pastors (Past and Present)


Rev. Ralph Munson: 1849(?)-1868

Rev. Nathaniel Jackson: 1868-1875 –Served 6 years)

Rev. Pat Garmon: 1875-1897 - (served 22 years)

Rev. George Garrett Taylor: 1897-June 1954 (served 57 years )

Rev. J. S. Dorsey: (Served 18 months) 

( Dorsey was called as the assistant pastor, when Rev. Taylor’s health failed in May 1952)

Rev. L. J. Ross: June 1954-Oct. 1961 (Served 7 years)

Rev. M. C. Fields: Dec. 1961-Dec. 1968 (Served 7 years)

Rev. J. J. Jordan: 1969-1976 (Served 7 years)

Rev. G. W. Warren: 1976-1980 (Served 4 years)

Rev. David E. Savage: 1980-1996 (Served for 15 years)

Rev. Floyd Clarington: 1996- Present




Today the church is still standing. Additions, renovations, and bricking has taken place over the years and it is now in need of repair. But nevertheless, it is worth saving!