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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Millard Townsend was Pioneer in Special Education

Millard C. Townsend, subject of previous posts , and his family became residents of Ray City, GA some time prior to 1920. Townsend studied at Mercer University in the 1920s (see Millard Carnege “Mill” Townsend, of Ray City, Made Mark at Mercer , Millard C. Townsend and the Mercer Debate Team .

Gravemarker of Daniel Wiley Townsend, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Gravemarker of Daniel Wiley Townsend, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

His father, Daniel Wiley Townsend died at Ray City in 1928 and was buried at New Ramah Cemetery.

After college, Millard moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where he boarded with the family of Charles A. Ball, a Virginia real estate agent. Millard took a job as a teacher at the National Business College, and later became the Personnel Director for the college.

1930 census enumeration of Millard Townsend in Roanoke Virginia. In the 1920s, Townsend lived in Ray City, GA.

1930 census enumeration of Millard Townsend in Roanoke Virginia. In the 1920s, Townsend lived in Ray City, GA.

http://www.archive.org/stream/15thcensus2482unit#page/n393/mode/1up

Townsend became a leading advocate for special education and did much to organize support for mentally and physically handicapped children in the state of Virginia.

Millard C. Townsend, former Ray City, GA resident, was a leading advocate for the mentally and physically disabled in Virginia.

Millard C. Townsend, former Ray City, GA resident, was a leading advocate for the mentally and physically disabled in Virginia.

Halifax Gazette
October 14, 1954

State Retarded Children Work To Be Explained

M. C. Townsend

Education of mentally retarded and physically handicapped children will be the theme of an address before the Junior Woman’s Club here Friday night, October 22.
 The speaker will be M. C. Townsend, personnel director of National Business College, Roanoke, and one of the state’s pioneers in the mentally retarded education program. Townsend appeared here last June at the invitation of instigators of a movement to start a Council for Retarded Children here. His talk drew warm response, and since then efforts have been pushed to establish such a class here under auspices of the State Department of Education and private groups.
 Townsend is a graduate of Mercer University, Macon, Ga. The father of an mentally retarded child himself, Townsend early became interested in a plan to train and educate such handicapped children.
 He was the leader in the first Council for Retarded Children in the state, established at Roanoke. Later he helped organize the Virginia State Association for Mentally Retarded Children, an organization that numbers several Councils for Retarded Children in the state. He served as legislative chairman for the association last year, and was instrumental in securing the first state
 appropriations to the State Department of Education to assist with educational programs for the handicapped.
Former Governor Battle named him to the first commission to study the needs of mentally and physically handicapped children.
The Junior Woman’s Clubs of the state numbers the program as one of its principal projects and has offered its support to local councils fostering the educational program.

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Millard Carnege “Mill” Townsend, of Ray City, Made Mark at Mercer

In 1924 Millard Townsend, of Ray City, GA was a freshman at Mercer University in Macon, GA.

Millard Carnege Townsend of Ray City, GA/ , 1925 Caldron, Mercer University Annual.

Millard Carnege Townsend of Ray City, GA, 1925 Caldron, Mercer University Annual.

Millard Carnege Townsend, subject of previous post (Millard C. Townsend and the Mercer Debate Team), was born in Florida on July 6, 1902, and moved with his family from Lafayette county, Florida to Ray City some time before 1920. His parents were Margaret Elizabeth Buchanan and Daniel Wiley Townsend. His father owned a farm on one of the settlement roads at Ray City.

1920 Census enumeration of Millard Townsend and family in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, near Ray City, GA.

1920 Census enumeration of Millard Townsend and family in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, near Ray City, GA.

http://www.archive.org/stream/14thcensusofpopu235unit#page/n313/mode/1up

As a student at Mercer, Millard C. Townsend was engaged in many extra curricular activities. He was a member of the school band, leader of a literary society, speaker on debate teams, and an assistant editor for the school paper.

THE 1925 MERCER UNIVERSITY BAND: Kyle T. Alfriend, President; E.C. Middlebrooks, Secretary; Members, J. Noble Arnold, J. H. Anderson, Aubrey Abbott, Kyle T. Alfriend, J. W. Avery, J. Logan Bloodworth, Lawson F. Bell, Dan C. Benton, J. T. Cook, Walton W. Cook, J. P. Chapman, C. B. Fulghum, J. H. Fulghum, Roy Harrison, S. B. King, George Kent, R. T. Lee, E. C. Middlebrooks, O. H. Middlebrooks, W. P. Martin, J. H. Murray, J. T. Minor, William Mitchell, M. C. Townsend, Bruce P. Powers, Lamar R. Portain, Maynard Smith, J. E. Suires, Jack Taylor, L. H. Young, J. M. Hardy, Oliver Benson, C.C. Thomas, H. Williams, Mac Davis.

THE 1925 MERCER UNIVERSITY BAND: Kyle T. Alfriend, President; E.C. Middlebrooks, Secretary; Members, J. Noble Arnold, J. H. Anderson, Aubrey Abbott, Kyle T. Alfriend, J. W. Avery, J. Logan Bloodworth, Lawson F. Bell, Dan C. Benton, J. T. Cook, Walton W. Cook, J. P. Chapman, C. B. Fulghum, J. H. Fulghum, Roy Harrison, S. B. King, George Kent, R. T. Lee, E. C. Middlebrooks, O. H. Middlebrooks, W. P. Martin, J. H. Murray, J. T. Minor, William Mitchell, M. C. Townsend, Bruce P. Powers, Lamar R. Portain, Maynard Smith, J. E. Suires, Jack Taylor, L. H. Young, J. M. Hardy, Oliver Benson, C.C. Thomas, H. Williams, Mac Davis.

1924 clipping from the Mercer Cluster. Debate Council plans strenuous forensic season.

1924 clipping from the Mercer Cluster. Debate Council plans strenuous forensic season.

Mercer Cluster
September 26, 1924

DEBATE COUNCIL PLANS STRENUOUS FORENSIC SEASON
Tryouts For Teams to be Held This Fall; Only Four Men Back

Plans are already underway for the inter-collegiate debates at Mercer during the coming year. The members of the Council have been selected and preparations are being laid for the most strenuous year of debating through which Mercer has ever gone.
Dr. Rufus C. Harris, of the law school, is chairman for the coming season. Other members of the committee are, Dr. A. P. Montague, Dr. Percy Scott Flippen, Prof. Joseph Robinson and Prof. W. T. Smalley. In addition to these members from the faculty, the presidents of the Ciceronian and Phi Delta Societies will be active members of the Council.
During the past four years Mercer has participated in eighteen inter-collegiate debates, winning twelve of this number.

Won 4; Lost 1

Teams were met last season from the following colleges; Richmond University, of Richmond, Va.; Georgia Tech, University of Alabama, William-Jewel College of Missouri, and Wake Forest College. The above contests were won with the exception of the Wake Forest affair.
This year’s program will call for Mercer’s meeting some of the foremost colleges in the forensic arena including some intersectional debates if plans that are now in their infancy materialize.
Subjects for the tryouts  for positions on the teams will be announced sometime during the fall term and the applicants will be permitted to display their skill before the Christmas holidays.
Only four men who were on debating teams last year are back or are eligible. These are Eugene Cook, Herbert Bradshaw, Joe McClain and M. C. Townsend.

Mercer Cluster
May 2?, 1925

Ciceronians Select
Townsend Next Head

Millard C. Townsend of Ray City, Ga., has been chosen to serve as president of the Ciceronian society for the first term of the next school year. This honor was well placed, Mr. Townsend having defended this society several times in debates and oratorical contests.

Other officers elected were: vice-president, T. Harris Tyson of Tennille, Ga.; secretary, Fred Forrester, of Head River, Ga.; chaplain, George Jester, of Camp Hill, Ala.; critic, Courtland Gilbert, of Brunswick, Ga.; reporter, Julian J. Upshaw, of Douglasville, Ga.; and janitor, G. L. Griner, of Camilla, Ga.

Speakers and officer for the annual society day program, which will be held next winter, were elected as follows; debaters, M. C. Townsend and Frank Twitty, with C. A. Martin and C. E. Langston as alternates; orators, Herbert Bradshaw and T. Harris Tyson; presiding officer, C. A. Martin, and chief marshall, H. S. Sauls.

On next Tuesday evening, May 26, the Society will hold its annual oratorical contest.

Mercer Cluster
May 29, 1925

Townsend is Winner
Of Ciceronian Medal

Millard C. Townsend, of Ray City, was awarded the medal from the Ciceronian debating society oratical contest which was held on Tuesday evening. His subject was Victory of Sword or Cross.

There were four other contestants for the medal, these were: Julius T. Anderson, of Milledgeville, who spoke on The Agriculturalist and His Advance; Charles A. Martin, of Rex, A Trust to Keep; Julian J. Upshaw, of Douglasville, Wilson, the Man; and S. Virgil Cofield, of Monroe, Twenty Century Manhood.

Rev. J. H. Barber, speaking for the judges of the occasion, heartily commended the work being don in the societies.

Townsend, the winner, has recently been elected president of the Ciceronians for the first month of the 1925-26 season. He has been a member of several Varsity debating teams all of which have emerged victorious.

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Millard C. Townsend and the Mercer Debate Team

Millard C. Townsend was born in Florida on July 6, 1902, the son of  Margaret Elizabeth Buchanan and Daniel Wiley Townsend. His father was a Florida farmer.

Millard Carnege Townsend moved with his family from Lafayette county, Florida to Ray City some time before 1920. His father owned a farm on one of the settlement roads at Ray City.

At about age 23, Millard C. Townsend was studying at Mercer University in Macon.

Mercer University, Macon, GA

Mercer University, Macon, GA

His success there on the debate team was noted in the Atlanta newspaper.

Atlanta Constitution
May 1, 1926, pg 4
MERCER DEBATERS WIN OVER WAKE FOREST

    Macon, Ga., April 30 – Mercer university debaters won the last intercollegiate debate of the present season by defeating a team from Wake Forest college in the Mercer chapel here tonight.
    Millard C. Townsend, Ray City, and Roy Hale, Locust Grove, were the Mercer representatives taking the negative side of the question, “Resolved, that the operation of United States coal mines should be regulated by federal commission.”  The judges handed down a two-to-one decision in favor of the Mercer debaters.
    A.S. Gillespie and C.R. Tew were the debaters from Wake Forest.

Millard’s father died in 1928 in Ray City, GA. After college, Millard moved to Roanoke City Virginia, where he boarded with the family of Charles A. Ball. He took a job as a teacher at the Roanoke National Business College.

Milliard Townsend remained in Roanoke, Va and died there in July, 1984.

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