Albert Ross Starling was Pastor at Ray City

Reverend Albert Ross Starling was pastor of an African-American church at Ray City during the early 1900s.  He also served as pastor of New Bryant Baptist Church in Milltown, and First Baptist Church of Waycross, and several churches in Brooks County.

Albert Ross Starling, 1920

Albert Ross Starling, 1920

Neither races nor nations rise or develop as a whole. It is all a matter of individual progress, and no race can rise above the level of the individuals of which the race is composed. It sometimes happens that the progress of a people is best illustrated for a given period by the life of some man cotemporary with that period. For instance, the life record of Rev. Albert Ross Starling, a successful Baptist minister of Waycross might be used to illustrate the progress of his people since the Emancipation, as he was born soon after the war and so represents in his own life and work practically the period of freedom. The date of his birth was April 10, 1867, and the place was in Brooks County. His parents were Joe and Martha (Calker) Starling. His maternal grandparents were Shiloh and Betsy Calker.  As a boy young Starling worked on the farm.

His education was begun in the local schools of Brooks and Thomas Counties. In 1890 he finished the Normal Course of the International Correspondence Schools at Scranton, Pa., and in 1918 he finished the Theological Course of Princeton University at, Princeton. Ind., and received from the institution the D. D. degree. He had grown to manhood before he became active in the work of the Church and was a man of thirty years of age with a family before he dedicated himself to the preaching of the Gospel. In 1898 he was ordained to the full work of the Gospel ministry by the Elizabeth Baptist Church of Brooks County and has since made a record which has endeared him to his people. His first pastorate was the New Zion Baptist Church which he served one year and repaired the church. Since then he has served a number of other churches which have prospered under his administration. He preached at New Macedonia for twelve years, bought land and built a new house of worship. He pastored Centenary seven years and remodeled the church. St. Paul five years and built a new church. One of his most successful pastorates has been the New Bryant Baptist Church at Milltown where he is now (1919) in eleventh year. With his coming the congregation took on new life and a commodious new house of worship was erected. An historical sketch of this has been published under the direction of the pastor. In 1913 he accepted the call of the First Baptist Church of Waycross, where he resides. The house of worship has been completed and the congregation strengthened. Other churches he has served are Ray City and Pleasant Hill.   Rev. Starling ministers to his people in every helpful way and grows in the esteem of his congregation from year to year. He is an effective speaker and has had a fruitful ministry. He is Clerk of the New Bryant Association and a trustee of Central City College.
As a young man and even in the early years of his ministry he taught school for more than a dozen years. More recently he has devoted his entire time to the work of the ministry. He is a regular attendant at the State and National Conventions.

Among the secret orders he is identified with the Masons, Pythians, Odd Fellows and is State Auditor for the Eastern Star.
His property interests are at Boston and in Brooks County. His experience as a teacher and preacher leads him to believe that the thing most needed by the race is efficient educational and religious work and leadership.

First_African_Baptist_Church_Waycross

First African Baptist Church, Waycross

 

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

Related Posts: