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Upper Lotts Creek unveils The National Register of Historic Places marker
Upper Lotts Creek Sept. 19 2009 034
Lorine Hendricks and Richard Crotwell stand under the National Register of Historic Places marker after it was unveiled Saturday during a ceremony at Upper Lotts Creek Primative Baptist Church. - photo by N. LUREE BOWEN/Special
      Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church was a proud and humble place Saturday as the church welcomed dozens of visitors and local church members to the 180th anniversary celebration of the church and the unveiling of a marker denoting both the cemetery and the church's placement in The National Register of Historic Places.
       The day began at 10:30 a.m. with an informal tour of the cemetery where the remains of two Revolutionary War soldiers, six Confederate soldiers, and numerous loved ones have rested in peace many for more than a century.
      At 11 a.m. when visitors and the church family assembled in the church, Elder R. Keith Hamilton extended a warm welcome to those in attendance.
      After asking Elder Emerson Proctor to handle the invocation and subsequently asking Alex Hendricks to sing an old favorite hymn, Elder Hamilton welcomed Senator Jack Hill who addressed the congregation in congratulating the church for their work in obtaining placement of the church and cemetery in The National Register of Historic Places.
      After reading the congratulatory letter to the church, Senator Hill said, "I am proud to be here today to be with you and to share this with you."
      Elder Hamilton then began interjecting historical facts many of which were recorded earlier in Elder J. Walter Hendricks autobiography.
      Pointing out the pioneer spirit in the early settlers to the community, Elder Hamilton stressed the importance of building a church near water during that time. "The nearby creek was used for baptizing. One of coldest and happiest days of my life was baptizing my son here at the creek near this church," he shared.
      Elder Hamilton enjoyed telling the congregation the story about the huge oak trees around the church. "They were planted by Elder J. Walter Hendricks from acorns he gathered from Savannah's Historic Bonaventure Cemetery."
      "In fact," he continued, "You can still see places with no bark on the oaks where horses and mules were hitched."
      After the Historical Review, retired architect, Richard Crotwell told the congregation that several years ago when the National Register process began through the interest of he and Church Historian and Author, Lorine Hendricks, they were convinced that in order to be successful the process would involve a lot of determination, patience, and hard work.
      They were right.
      "After much computer research and digging into Bulloch County's past court records, church records, and old issues of county newspapers, we reached our goal late last year on Dec. 4, 2008," said Crotwell. At that time they received notification from The Georgia Department of Natural Resources - Historic Preservation Division that both the cemetery and Upper Lotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church had been placed in the National Register of Historic Places.
      September 19, 2009 was soon selected as the day to rejoice in celebrating the 180th anniversary of the church and the addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
      It was now time for the assembling of the congregation at the marker in front of the church where Hendricks made comments followed by she and Crotwell unveiling the marker.
      Elder Emerson Proctor completed the unveiling ceremony by offering the dedicatory prayer after which all attendees were adjourned and invited to participate in a covered dish luncheon staged in the church Social Hall.

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