Constitution of New Ramah Primitive Baptist Church

New Ramah Primitive Baptist  Church (1913 – 2010)

New Ramah Primitive Baptist Church, Ray City, Berrien County, GA was founded in 1913. The church building was dismantled in 2010.

New Ramah Primitive Baptist Church, Ray City, Berrien County, GA was founded in 1913. The church building was dismantled in 2010.

New Ramah Church was located on the southwest side of Ray City, between Park Street and Cat Creek. The primitive baptist church was organized August 30,  1913, and built by four Knight brothers who were the descendants of William A. KnightAaron Anderson Knight was called as the first pastor and served until his death in 1925.

Upon the constitution of New Ramah Church, the minutes of the church recorded this initial entry:

State of Georgia, Berrien, Co.
August 30, 1913

By the Goodness of God, now when names are after written, having been Baptized upon a Profession of faith by the Lord Jesus Christ having here to fore been members of different Churches did consent on the propriety of becoming a Constituted body near Rays Mill, Ga.

Believing it to be expedient, finding a fellowship with each other, jointly chosen to set apart this day for Constitution.

Petitioning Salem, Empire, Unity & Pleasant Churches for Ministerial aid as a presbatry (Presbytery) which has granted Eld. I. A. Wetherington from Unity Church, Eld. H. W. Parrish from Salem Church, Eld. A. A. Knight from Pleasant Church, Eld. E. R. Blanton from Pleasant Hill Church and Eld. E. Lindsey from Ty Ty Church were clothed with church authority and gave theyr attenuance and letter of dismission being presented and no deficiency appearing, being sound in the facts and principals of the Gospel, that is to say believing that the scriptures of the Old and the New Testament are the Word of God and contains everything necessary for the faith and practice, Particular the existence of one true God, the fall of Man and his inability to recover himself, God’s savoring [sovereign] choices, of his people in Christ, theyr Covenant head from before the foundation of the world effectual calling purification by the imputed righteousness of Christ alone,  The final perseverance of the saints in grace, and eternal salvation in Glory, the duty of baptism by immersion, and the Lords Supper. Thus pronouncing to be upon above principals.
      And having this day being the 30th day of August, 1913, been pronounced a Church of Christ in order
        having united upon equal terms and here after be called and known by the name of New Ramah Church, and for this end deliberately solemly give our selves to the Lord, and to each other by the will of God, Independent of any religious body or congregation what ever, covenanting and promising each other to live to gether as becomes brethering in Gospel hands for the maintaining of Christian fellowship and gospel discipline agreeable to the holy scripture and as true yoke fellows agreed to stand or fall together in order, for which we do agree to receive, and adopt the following plan of or form of Decorum and Rule of practice.

Church Decorum
 New Ramah Church

1st   – – – –  —— —— or Conference shall be —– —– —- —– every member must —- —- —– —— —– —–

2nd  Church meetings shall begin and end with Divine worship.

3rd Church members failing to attend two Conferences in succession it shall be theyr duty to make known to the Church the reason of theyr absence at the next conference, and the Church judge of the same, but if the failure happen without the Church having knowledge of there being laudable reasons, she shall have him cited and Judge of such failure.

4th The Pastor of the Church shall preside as moderator when present unless some objections be made in which case the Church shall choose another

5th At the opening of every Conference it shall be the duty of the moderator to invite visiting brethering & Sisters of Sister Churches to seats with the Brethern of this Church, and then make known to the Congregation that a door of the Church is open for the reception of members the proceed to take up all Reference as they stand in order and all business that comes before the Church in order

6th  The moderator shall in his Power preserve order, Shall explain and put questions. He shall have an assistant (when present) if needed but in his absence a moderator protem shall be appointed.

7th The Moderator shall have the same right of speech as another member but shall not vote unless the body be equally divided.

8th The Church shall have a Clerk who shall keep a fair record of theyr proceedings and sign theyr order before the Conference rises.  Minutes taken by the Clerk shall be read and amended before the conference rises if necessary.

9th  In debate, only one person shall speak at the same time, who shall rise from his seat and address the Moderator in an orderly manner.

10th  The person speaking shall strictly attend to the subject in debate, shall not reflect on the person that spoke before him by making remarks on his slips, or imperfections, but convey his own ideas.

11th  The person speaking shall not be interrupted unless he breaks through these rules.  Then the moderator shall call to  order if dissatisfied he shall —- the voice of the conference.

12th No person shall speak more than twice to the same proposition till every one choosing to speak has spoken.

The Church minutes of New Ramah Primitive Baptist Church provide the list of male and female members below.  Notations next to the names were updated by the Clerk with the status by which the member joined and departed the congregation. Many notations were too faint to be legible for transcription.

Males

B. H. Sirmans
C. H. Vickers
W. F. Rayaln  Exp
D. W. Townsend  dead
C. R. Herring Dead
J. T. Moore  Dead
J. W. Conner Dis By letter
H. T. Cercey
C. C. Smith Exp
L. L. Blanton
Gilford Stalvey
M. S. Pevy
Willie Green Dis by letter
A. M. Ray  By letter
O.W. Mikell by let
P.S. Skinner let
D. J. Skinner
Joe Spells
S. G. Gaskins
Robert Burkholtz
John Burkholtz
Jimmie Taylor
K. S. Bennett
Lacy Shaw

Females

Mary Sirmans Dead
Carrie Peters Dead
E. B. Clements
Ada Gaskins
Chloe Johnson
Cassie Hall Con X
Ola Mikell by let
Roena Clements Con
Lillie Spells bapt
Minnie Herrin bapt
Eva Moore bap X
Mary Cersey let
Elizabeth —- X
Nettie Skinner let
Lizzie Smith
Laura Chitty bapt
Mary? Skinner dead
Lila Allen
Fannie Gaskins
Kizzie Woodard
Eliza Knight let
Lula Kendrick bapt
Lula Fender bapt
Delia Bennett bapt
Mary Allen bapt
Della Spells bapt
Pearlie Peevy bapt
Orie Blanton ? bapt

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George Calhoun Mikell

An old clipping from the Clinch County News, dated November 8, 1929 gives a brief history of the Mikell family, beginning with George Mikell who was a pioneer settler of Clinch County.  Three of his grandsons, Rufus Lane Mikell, George Calhoun Mikell and Otis Willie Mikell (subject of earlier post – see Ola Crews and Otis Mikell) became residents of Ray City, GA.  The news clipping, which provided in part the  following information , is transcribed below.

George Calhoun Mikell, Ray City, Georgia

George Calhoun Mikell made Ray City his home some time before 1920.  He was a Primitive Baptist and is buried at New Ramah Cemetery in Ray City.

Grave marker of George Calhoun Mikell (1896-1960), New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, GA.

Grave marker of George Calhoun Mikell (1876-1960), New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, GA.

George Calhoun Mikell was born March 4, 1876, a son of Rebecca Lee and John A. Mikell.  His paternal grandparents,  Rachel Roberts and George Mikell (1818-1880), are buried at Wayfare Primitive Baptist church in unmarked graves.

His father, John A. Mikell (abt 1846 – 1889), was a respected Clinch County citizen who lived near Dupont, GA. “John A. Mikell was baptized July 5 1883 into the membership of the Primitive Baptist church, and on Dec 1, 1883 was dismissed by letter and united with Olive Leaf church near Dupont. Mr. Mikell served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff J. M. Jeffords who sheriff from 1881 to 1887.  He was elected justice of the peace of the 1280 district, commissioned January 24, 1881, serving two terms of four years each”

When George was thirteen years old, he lost his father. John A. Mikell died April 9, 1889 and was buried at North Cemetery, Clinch County, GA.

George’s mother, Rebecca Lee, was a daughter of Phoebe Register and Zachariah Lee. She was born November 5th, 1845 in what is now Clinch county, GA. She  married John A. Mikell about 1868.  Following the death of her husband in 1889 she continued to live in Clinch county where she farmed, with the help of her children, in the 1280th district .    After her sister, Elizabeth Lee Fiveash, died on May 05, 1912, Rebecca Lee Mikell married her brother-in-law George Appling Fiveash (1842-1927).   On the death of George Fiveash in 1927, the twice-widowed Rebecca Lee Mikell Fiveash went to live with her son, George Calhoun Mikell, at Ray City, GA. She died December 08, 1932 in Lowndes Co GA.  She was buried at North Cemetery, DuPont, Clinch County, GA.

George C. Mikell married Mary Hughes on January 31, 1904, in Clinch County.  She was  a daughter of James H. Hughes.

George C. Mikell and his brother John P. Mikell both became “leading members of the Primitive Baptist denomination in this section, one a layman and the other a minister; one adhering to the ‘old line’ association and the other to what is called the ‘Peace Movement’ association of the old Union Association.  Elder John P. Mikell as a preacher is known far and wide for his gifts and influence as a Christian worker, and his brother George is making his association a capable clerk and as a layman is known and loved for his upright, Christian life.”

George C. Mikell, Nov 1, 1929, Clinch County News

George C. Mikell, Nov 1, 1929, Clinch County News

In the census of 1910, George C. Mikell was enumerated with his wife and son, Ollie, in the 1280 district of Clinch County. Some time after 1910 he brought his family from Clinch to Berrien County. On September 12, 1918 he registered for the draft for World War I in Nashville, GA.  At age 42, he was tall and slender with blue eyes and black hair. He was a self-employed farmer with a home on Rural Free Delivery route #2 out of Nashville.   By the time of the 1920 census, the Mikells were living on a farm near Ray City on the Nashville Road.

The 1930 census shows George and Mary still farming at Ray City, George’s mother living in their household. His mother died in 1932, and was buried with her first husband at Wayfare Primitive Baptist Church in Clinch County.

George’s wife, Mary Mikell died April 25, 1939 and was buried at New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA.  Later he remarried, taking Nellie Hughes, daughter of John Jasper Hughes, as his second wife.  When George C. Mikell passed in 1960, he was buried at New Ramah Cemetery next to his first wife.

Clinch County News
Friday Morning, November 8, 1929

Our Column in History

GEORGE MIKELL

    George Mikell, an old pioneer citizen of Clinch county, came to this section from Bulloch county, and settled in what is now Echols county where he married. Later he moved to a point near Dupont and spent the remainder of his life there. He was born in Bulloch county in 1816, and died about 1880. His wife was Rachel Roberts; she was born in 1830, but we have not learned who her parents were but we infer she was a daughter of John  Roberts who also came to this section from Bulloch county.
    To them were born only three children, viz:

    1. John A. Mikell who married Rebecca Lee.
    2. Sarah who married Mark or S. M. Bennet.
    3. Bettie or Elizabeth who married Samuel Tomlinson.

    George Mikell and his wife were members of Wayfare Primitive Baptist church, and are buried there.  Their graves are not marked. George Mikell had two brothers, Bob and Charles.  The former lived in Wayne county and the latter moved to Florida.

John A. Mikell

    John A. Mikell was born in this county about 1846, and as above stated, the only son of George and Rachel Mikell.  He lived near Dupont, where he was a respected citizen.  He married Rebecca, a daughter of Zachariah Lee, and a sister to the late P. M. Lee of Dupont.  She was born Nov. 5th 1845 in this county, and is now living with her son Mr. G. C. Mikell at Ray City, having just past her 84th birthday this week.  Her husband had been dead forty years having died April 9th, 1889.   He is buried at the North cemetery. To Mr. and Mrs. Mikell were born ten children, viz:
    1.  Ardelia who married Moses Pittman, living at Arcadia, Fla.
    2. Alice who married Roland Zeigler.
    3. Rufus L. who married ollie Morgan, daughter of Granville Morgan.
    4. Charlton Z. who married Mrs. Lula Crews.
    5. George C. who married Mary, daughter of James H. Hughes.
    6. Perry C. who married Bessie Powell; living at Quitman.
    7. Phoebe who married R. A. Dasher and lived near Bemiss.
    8. John P. who married Sallie, daughter of George Corbitt of Echols county.
    9. Otis W. who married Ola Crews.
    10. Augustus T. married Annie Wilkerson of Berrien county.  He is the only one of the ten children not living.
    John A. Mikell was baptized July 5, 1883 into the membership of the Primitive Baptist church, and on Dec 1, 1883 was dismissed by letter and united with Olive Leaf church near Dupont.
    Mr. Mikell served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff J. M. Jeffords who sheriff from 1881 to 1887.  He was elected justice of the peace of the 1280 district, commissioned January 24, 1881, serving two terms of four years each, his last term expiring just before his death.
    John P. Mikell and his brother Geo. C. have both become leading members of the Primitive Baptist denomination in this section, one a layman and the other a minister; one adhering to the “old-line” association and the other to what is called the “Peace Movement” association of the the old Union Association.  Elder John P. Mikell as a preacher is known far and wide for his gifts and influence as a Christian worker, and his brother George is making his association a capable clerk and as a layman is known and loved for his upright Christian life.

Some Other Data

    The writer would like to find out more about the older Mikells or the forefathers of George Mikell.  Back up in Bulloch county where they lived we find a number of references to them on the county records but of course we cannot identify them.  The following Mikell marriages are of record there:
     Alexander Mikell and Rebecca Hollingsworth, Dec 7, 1804.
    Charles Mikell and Dicy Lee, Dec 17, 1804.
    Thomas Mikell and Mary Row, April 3l 1805.
    John Mikell and Hannah Stuart, Aug. 6, 1805.
    Thomas Mikell and Mary Woodcock, Nov. 10, 1807.
    William Mikell and Mary Anderson, Nov 21, 1809.
    John Mikell and Catherine Lowther, Feb. 8, 1826.
    John Mikell, an old citizen of Bulloch county, died in 1799, and his estate was administered by his widow Elizabeth, and Edward Mikell.  They were appointed administrators Feb. 10, 1800. Their bond was for $20,000 and signed by Sherod McCall and James Mikell. The estate was appraised in 1800 by Stephen Denmark and John Rawls and Jesse Mixon, and valued at $8099.75.  Among the property enumerated were 13 slaves and $3500 worth of cattle. A petition for division of the estate was filed by the widow in May, 1803, and the Court granted partitioners to divide the land, and among these were George Mikell, James Mikell, Sr., and James Mikell, Jr.  In a sales account filed by the administrators in May 1803, Sarah Mikell, Francis Mikell and James Mikell were mentioned as younger heirs.  In March, 1807, the administrators were required to show cause why they had not made any return. Further than this we did not find out about this estate. It seemed to be the only Mikell estate administered in Bulloch prior to 1820.

Ola Crews and Otis Mikell

The Minutes of the One Hundred Twentieth Annual Session of the Union Primitive Baptist Association, October 18-20, 1975 noted the passing of Ola Crews Mikell:

MEMORIAL COMMITTEE

WE, YOUR COMMITTEE ON MEMORIALS BEG TO SUBMIT OUR REPORT IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR DECEASED MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED AWAY SINCE OUR LAST SESSION.

…SISTER LEALA MIKELL WAS BORN SEPT. 14, 1891, MARRIED BROTHER O.W. MIKELL MARCH 7, 1909, UNITED WITH OLIVE LEAF CHURCH SEPT. 1911, CAME TO NEW RAMAH CHURCH BY LETTER FEB. 12, 1916, DEPARTED THIS LIFE FEB 14, 1975.

IT IS WITH MUCH SADNESS THAT WE RECORD THESE MEMORIALS, BUT WE SAY TO ALL THAT MOURN THEIR PASSING, WE SHARE IN YOUR LOSS, BUT WE BELIEVE THAT OUR LOSS IS THEIR ETERNAL GAIN, OUR PRAYERS THAT GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS WILL FILL THE EMPTINESS THAT IS LEFT BY THEIR ABSENCE.

Anne Leola “Ola” Crews was born in Clinch County, GA on   September 14, 1891, the eldest child of Perry Crews and Rhoda Guthrie. She appeared with her family in the Census of 1900 in the Mud Creek district of Clinch County. Her father was working a rented farm there.

In 1909, Ola Crews married Otis Willie Mikell in Clinch County.  Born April 8, 1885 in Berrien County, he was a tall and slender young man, with dark hair and blue eyes.  His  mother was Rebecca Lee (1845-1932). His father, John A. Mikell (1848-1889), served terms as Justice of the Peace, Road commissioner, and Deputy Sheriff in Clinch County, GA.

Otis Mikell and Ola Crews marriage certificate.

Otis Mikell and Ola Crews marriage certificate.

While the Clinch County marriage license clearly shows that O.W. Mikell and Ola Crews were joined in matrimony on March 7, 1909, census records from this period are confusing.

On the one hand, it appears that Ola continued to live with her mother for some time after her marriage.  In the 1910 census of of the Mud Creek district, Ola Crews was enumerated on April 19 in her widowed mother’s household, under her maiden name, as a single female.  Her mother, Rhoda Crews, was head-of-household, a farmer, working her land on her own account.

On the other hand, the census of Militia District 1280 in Clinch County, enumerated in May, 1910 shows  O.W. Mikell as head of household with his wife, Ola Mikell, married one year.  Otis and Ola were renting a house on the farm owned by his mother. Otis’ brother, George Calhoun Mikell,  and his family were renting the house next door.

Ola and Otis Mikell were members of the Primitive Baptist faith.  Church records show that Ola Mikell united with Olive Leaf Primitive Baptist Church near Dupont, GA in September, 1911.

Some time before 1916, Otis and Ola moved to Ray City, GA. On February 12, 1916 Ola joined with New Ramah Church at Ray City by letter.  The WWI draft registration records show Otis worked as a farmer at M.C. Lee’s place.

In the Census of 1920, Otis W. Mikell was renting a farm on a settlement road near Ray City.  By this time, the Otis and Ola’s household included their five children: Annie C., Alvin L., Cleo,  and the twins  Clementine and Pauline. Also in the Mikell home was Otis’ brother, Augustus.  Farming next door was  John Troutman from Bavaria, Germany, and boarding with him was the Primitive Baptist preacher, Alfred F. Fender.

In the 1930s,  Otis and Ola  were renting a farm and raising their children in the Lois district, near Ray City.

Children of Ola Crews and Otis Mikell:

  1. Annie Clarice Mikell 1911 – December 12, 2002
  2. Alvin Lee Mikell 1913 – 1987
  3. Lula Cleo Mikell, April 4, 1915 – October 27, 2013
  4. Pauline Mikell 1919 – 2006
  5. Clementine Mikell 1919 – 1992
  6. Ola Mae Mikell 1929 –

 

Otis Mikell died February 19, 1958. Ola Crews Mikell died Feb 14, 1975. They are both buried at New Ramah Cemetery in Ray City, along with others  of the Mikell family connection.

Ola Crews and Otis Mikell, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Ola Crews and Otis Mikell, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA