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Upper Lotts Creek rejoices in 180 years
Ceremony planned for Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
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    The Georgia Department of Natural Resources — Historic Preservation Division reports that on Dec. 4, 2008 both the cemetery and Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Bulloch County were placed in the National Register of Historic Places.  
    According to Lorine O. Hendricks, church historian and author, “Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist has planned an informal tour of the cemetery at 10:30 a.m. followed by a celebration to be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church located on the Portal-Metter Road.  Unveiling of the large Historical Marker will enhance the celebration of the church's 180 years of serving our community.”
    Buried in the cemetery is Hendricks' uncle, J. Walter Hendricks, who was born in 1873 in a log cabin built by his dad and neighbors, and was reared on a farm within walking distance of Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church.
    According to Elder J. Walter Hendricks' autobiography, he was a puny child who learned easily and often went to school while other siblings worked the farm.  “After graduation from the University of Georgia as an 1897 graduate, I taught school for 13 years ending after a three-year stint as the first president of First District Agricultural and Mechanical School (which is now Georgia Southern University) in Statesboro.  In December, 1912, I was ordained and served as pastor for 36 years on the fourth Sunday of each month and the Saturday before for Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church,” he stated.
    Niece Hendricks in her short biography of J. Walter likes to tell this story of her uncle who was a fast driver and when he was stopped in Pooler for speeding, as the officer approached, J. Walter said, “State your business young man — I am in a hurry.'”
    Always moving forward, J. Walter continued in being successful and on Feb. 4, 1953, he was elected by the board of Birdwood College of Thomasville, Ga., as its first president.  His wife was elected dean of women July 15, 1954 and they took residency there on Sept. 1, 1954.
    As for the beginning of the church 180 years ago, The Banner-Herald, Birdwood College Edition of the ‘History of the Progressive Primitive Baptists,’ issued May 1955, under the auspicious and direction of then Birdwood College President, J. Walter Hendricks, is one of several known documented accounts revealing the log Parrish Meeting House built in 1829 stood in the woods without any fence around it.   The author explained that without a fence, “Hogs slept underneath and raised so many fleas no one could enjoy the solemn worship.  A day was agreed upon and the brethren met to destroy the fleas.”
    “At that time Absalom Parrish was a member of the church and took the lead in the flea war.  At his suggestion a plentiful supply of pine straw was brought and scattered around and underneath the house, just enough when set on fire, to burn up the fleas and not damage the house.  Unfortunately, the results were that all the fleas and the house went up in flames,” he added.
    In 1841 after the meeting house went up in flames and as membership grew, the group decided to construct a log building near Lotts Creek and at that time they renamed it Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church.   This new building was erected of logs and was located on the east bank of Lotts Creek, where the present meeting house now stands.
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