Agnes Paschal: The Vines Collier Family and Salem Baptist Church

Salem Baptist Church as it appeared in 2001. The church has undergone remarkable expansion since that time.

Stories of the Vines Collier family are told by a first-hand acquaintance and neighbor in the book, Ninety-Four Years, Agnes Paschal.  The book, originally published in 1871, is available through The Reprint Company, Spartanburg, South Carolina.  This historical memoir of Agnes Paschal and her family was written by her son, George W. Paschal, following her passing.   The writing style is typical of that of the 1800s.

Agnes Brewer was born in 1776 in North Carolina.  In 1784, her family moved to the Georgia frontier, settling near Lexington on Long Creek, in a part of Wilkes County that would later become Oglethorpe County.   Agnes married George Paschal in 1802.  Together they raised a family and were contributing citizens of the Lexington area until George’s death in 1832.   The Georgia Gold Rush, which started that same year, lured many adventurers, including George W. Paschal, son of George and Agnes.  The next year, Agnes was persuaded by her son, George W., to move from the farm in Lexington to the gold mining town of Aurarie, Georgia, in Lumpkin County.

Vines Collier arrived with his family in the Lexington area at about the same time as the Brewers, settling along Buffalo Creek, south of Long Creek. 

Baptists in the area were in need of a reliable source of water for baptizing.  Vines Collier, although not a Baptist, allowed a church to be built on a part of his plantation along a branch of Buffalo Creek.  At that location, Salem Baptist Church was founded in 1789.  The building became known as the Salem Meeting House and hosted a local school, Prospect Academy.  Agnes Paschal was a member of the church and her son became a teacher in the academy.

Vines Collier passed away in 1795.  In the following years the plantation came under the control of Isaac Collier, son of Vines, and Clerk of Superior Court for Oglethorpe County.  Isaac had a disagreement with either the church or the school, or both.  The result was that he constructed a fence to prevent access to the Salem Meeting House.  The congregation voted to relocate to property on a public road.  However, there was a considerable minority (including Agnes Paschal) that were not in favor of relocating.  The division caused Agnes Paschal much grief and she moved her membership to another church.

When Isaac Collier ran again for Clerk of Court, the Baptists blamed him for their trouble and backed his opponent.  Isaac was successfully ousted.

Map showing Long Creek, Buffalo Creek, the location of the Vines Collier home site and plantation, and the present-day location of Salem Baptist Church.

Here is the story as written by George W. Paschal in the book Ninety-Four Years, Agnes Paschal.

At the end of one year my brother was able to redeem his promises to his parents.  So he became the student of a learned vagabond scholar by the name of Brantley, who became the teacher of Prospect Academy, which was attached to Salem Church. . .  But at the end of a few months, Brantley broke down in consequences of drunkenness, and my brother was installed as the sole teacher. . .

Salem, as I have said, was one of our oldest meeting-houses.  It was a wealthy neighborhood, and adjoining the plantation of Isaac Collier, who, for over twenty years, had been clerk of our Superior Court.  Collier did not belong to the Baptist communion.  Either the church, or some teacher of the academy had given him offense, so that he would patronize neither, and he so inclosed (sic) his plantation as very much to fence out both from convenient access by the public.  As a means of relief, there rose up a party for removing the church a couple of miles to an open road.  This was opposed by the more wealthy members and by the trustees of the academy.  The controversy waxed warm, until the majority removed the meeting-house over the heads of the minority. . .

The clerk of the church, Woody Jackson, a hard-headed obstinate man, refused to go with the records to the new locality of his church.  But on every day for the stated monthly meeting, he attended at the old place, where remained the academy, and where all the members had been baptized.  Jackson was regularly waited upon by three of the brethren, and cited to attend where the house of worship now was.  He appeared and made his defense and was excommunicated.  But the pastor of the church, the Rev. Jack Lumpkin, of another communion, sustained the minority, and withdrew his pastoral charge.  . . .

My mother was among the minority, who retained the academy.  She transferred her membership to Bethany, a church nearer to our residence, and only two miles from Lexington.

The minority retained the academy, and my brother became the teacher.  But the majority built a school-house at the new site of their church, and employed Osborn Ely as their teacher, and would not send their children to my brother.  The dispute lead to a knock-down between Ely and Samuel Lumpkin, one of the trustees of the academy . . .

The Baptists generally resented the course of Isaac Collier, the popular clerk, as the author of all their troubles.  John Landrum, an old school-master of the church, whom we all loved very much, was put forward as a candidate to punish Mr. Collier; and he did it, effectually, by beating him for the office.”

Subsequently, Isaac Collier sold the plantation and moved to Upson County, where he again entered politics.  He was elected as State Representative and then State Senator ( see March 27, 2015 CHF post: Isaac Collier, son of Vines & Elizabeth Collier).

Comments (3)

  • My name is Ron Young. My Young ancestor, George Young, Sr. and many of the Young family, moved from Pittsylvania County, Virginia and settled in the Buffalo Creek and Long Creek areas of Oglethorpe County. In my genealogical searches, I have seen comments about the Vine Collier family. I think one of my Youngs was a witness to the Vine Collier will. My dad was born in Good Hope, Georgia.
    If you have any information on the Young’s, I would really appreciate knowing about it.
    Ron Young

  • A brief look at “Ninety-Four Years – Agnes Paschal ” has a mention of George Young on page139-140. The text reads:

    “The leading spirits in Lexington, five miles away, were William H. Crawford, Governor George R. Gilmer, Joseph Henry Lumpkin, Stephen Upson, George Young . . . ”

    There may be other references to the Young family in the book but there is no index, so the a quick review is not sufficient. Do you have any information of marriages into the Young family in the Lexington area?

  • George Young Sr. married Elizabeth Susannah Welch when they lived in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. They bought 400 acres on Buffalo Creek from George and Ann Lumpkin in the late 1700’s. It looks like the Lumpkin’s and Youngs were neighbors in Virginia. They may have traveled to Georgia together. George and Susannah had at least 7 children: Dolly (Zadock Barnett), George Jr. (Nancy Wade Hampton), Leonard H. (Mary Polly Nance), Thomas, James Sr. (Elizabeth Davidson), Mary (John Gibson), and an unknown daughter. All the children were born in Virginia, but they all died in Georgia (Morgan, Oglethorpe, or Wilkes counties). My line of Young ancestors came through James Sr., who married Elizabeth Davidson from Rowan County, North Carolina. James and Elizabeth had at least 9 children: Moses William Sr. (Mary Fain), Henry F., James Jr. (Mary Polly Ward), Thomas (Jane Gresham), Woodson (Keziah Minor), Dorcas (John Hugher), Elizabeth (John Lumpkin Landrum), Susannah (James Lanier), Betty Ann (also John Lumpkin Landrum). My line of Young ancestors goes through Moses William Young Sr. and Jr.. Moses Jr. was born in Fairplay, Georgia in 1819. He married Mary Polly G. Edmondson. They lived in Social Circle. My line of Young ancestors continues through Moses Jr. and his son, Joseph (Jody) F. Walton Young (Susan Z. Daniel). Jody and Susan lived in Morgan County but moved to Butts County to live with their son in Jackson, Georgia. They are buried at Macedonia Baptist in Stark, Georgia. Jody and Susan had a son named Joseph Carter Young Sr. He married Ella Wilkins and they lived in Butts County, Georgia. They are both buried at Braswell Church, in Good Hope, Walton County, Georgia. I have good information from Moses William Young, Jr. forward. But prior to Moses Jr. (born in Georgia in 1819), the information is incomplete. I had always heard the Youngs came to Georgia from North Carolina. The websites indicate we came from Virginia, however, they may have stopped for a while in North Carolina, but I don’t know where. There were some Young cousins who lived in Northampton County, North Carolina and also came to Georgia. They may have stayed with them. Your family came from North Carolina. I was hoping there might be some connections there.
    Ron Young

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