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The Beech Tree in New Ramie Cemetery

New Ramah Baptist Church History, By Jill Garrett

 January 8, 1973, would mark another anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans and the end of our last war with England, I (Jill) spent most of 1973 trying to locate a picture of a War of 1812 soldier to use for this article. Finally I came up with two; William Boaz and Allen Richardson, both of whom are buried at New Ramah churchyard.

The hills and hollows along the Valley Creek Road once rang with the joyous sound of soul stirring Baptist hymns, but today most people have forgotten that New Ramah Baptist Church ever flourished. What church? No one remembers it. Only a mound of brick in an overgrown cemetery (cleaned up now) is all that remains.

Valley Creek Road leads from the Pulaski Pike to Culleoka about ten miles south of Columbia and the cemetery is about mile from the main highway on a hill across from where Tanyard Hollow Road junctions Valley Creek Road.

But there was a church here even though very little has been preserved of its history. On November 11, 1825 John Cannon deeded land to Isaac Butcher, John Richardson; Richard Hewett. "Trustees of Baptist Church known as Ramah adjoining where Cannon lived on Fountain Creek and Elisha Pullen's spring and including a new brick meeting house known as New Ramah. Witnesses to the deed were Wiley P. Richardson (also in War of 1812) and Henry B. Cannon.

The church name came from the Bible in Joshua XVIII, 25, and also 1st Samuel 1, 19. Through the years the pronunciation and spelling were corrupted into New Ramia, New Ramey, and even Neurarmie. In a short biography of William Garrett of Southport, he is listed as being one of the first members of "the Free Will Baptist Church at Newrona". Allen Richardson died in 1865 after serving over twenty years as minister of New Ramah and it is thought the church went into decline after his death. The membership was eventually absorbed by Friendship Church at Culleoka. 

In case you are Curious, New Ramah served the Stiversville area, which stretches from here to the Giles County line along the Pike. The community was named for John Stivers who moved on to Giles County about 1850 after selling his land to Joshiah Allen Dugger.

Jill was a gifted historical writer in the 1960s & 1970s for the Columbia Daily Herald. She had a wonderful way of captivating her reader's interest with facts and stories of olden days of Maury County and other Middle Tennessee areas. She is today a widely read author with several books in print two of which are: "Hither and Yon" Vol I & Vol II. The article above was condensed from a version published in January of 1973 in the Columbia Daily Herald. [WA 6/18/06]
Photo by Carma Boaz. information by Wayne Austin