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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Nevils Creek first Primitive Baptist Church in Ga.
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Roger Allen

    Note: The following is the 23rd in a series of columns that will describe towns and communities, past and present, that were settled after Bulloch County was first settled. Some have since been cut into other counties.

    Nevils Creek Primitive Baptist Church, the first Primitive Baptist Church in Georgia, was established south of the Ogeechee River as the Church of Christ at Nevils Creek. The church was set up in 1790 by Alexander Lotte on a high bluff along the banks of Bonnell Creek in Effingham County.
    Lotte was the progenitor for many of those Lotts that settled the area known as Lotts Creek along the borders of Bulloch and Tattnall counties. This location was made part of the new Screven County in 1793 and then became part of the new Bulloch County in 1796.
    Later, after being largely destroyed by Sherman's troops during the Civil War, the congregation used Finch's Old Mill to hold their services. In 1915, the congregation moved the church to a new building on Bay Gall Branch.
    Referred to as New Hayes on several old maps, the community of New Hope lay 2 miles south of Register on the old Burkhalter Road, part of which was renamed New Hope Road. The New Hope Church was organized and built on land donated by “Mr. Olliff” in 1874, with Father Styles being the first preacher. After a disagreement, some of the church membership split off to establish the New Bethlehem Church only 250 yards away.
    When the Perkins Lumber Company (later the Register and Glennville Railroad) built a railroad line, it passed through New Hope. However, the trains did not stop to pick up passengers or freight in the town.
    Ogeechee River was a train stop on the Dover and Statesboro Railroad between Donegal and Dover alongside the banks of the Ogeechee River.
    According to Henry Ellis, Georgia’s second royal governor, the second-oldest white settlement in Georgia was called Ogeecheeton and sat on the banks of what was then referred to as the Great Ogeechee River.
    It was located near Indian Bend and was only 1 mile north of the Old Fort Argyll (also called the First Fort on some old maps), which lay some 15 miles north of where the Ogeechee River splits away from the "Canoochie" (sic) River.
    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. He provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at

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