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Vincent T. and Sarah (Pierson) Allentharpe

In "Georgia Baptist Historical and Biographical" by J. H. Campbell he states "Vincent Tharp, a native of Virginia was born in 1760 and bore arms in the cause of his country towards the close of the Revolutionary War." The family Bible gives the date of his birth as November 18, 1760. He came with his family into the Sumter District, South Carolina before the Revolution. When the British overran South Carolina and required all males between 15 and 60 to join the British Militia, in some way, Vincent Allentharpe did not obey this order. Even as his father and brothers joined the British, Vincent slipped away and joined the forces of General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. He was taught to make nails in the blacksmith's shop. This knowledge served his well for years later he helped make nails for the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Warren County, Georgia. Owing to the hardness of the times, and his being a poor man at the time, he learned the gunsmith trade, and was said to be a superior workman. For his services he was given a land grant in Washington County, Georgia, in 1784.

Vincent is described as being tall, dark, a large man, with one blue and one brown eye.

He married a Miss Rogers in South Carolina about 1780. This marriage received a son and daughter before this Mrs. Allentharpe died sometime between January 1783 and 1786. Exactly when he moved to Georgia is uncertain for the early records were lost. On January 10, 1787 he married Sarah Pierson, a daughter of Jeremiah Pierson, who had moved from Fairfield County, South Carolina, to Warren County, Georgia.

Vincent was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Wilkes County, Georgia, on December 20, 1792. Also he was Justice of the Peace in Warren County, Georgia, on June 23, 1796. It was at this point tht he started signing his name Vincent A. Tharp. Vincent had dropped the Allen in his name as had all his other relatives in Georgia. From then on he signed his name A. Tharp and all the children, including the girls, used A. Tharp. Between 1850-1860 the A. was dropped and the name was Tharp. Another generation added the 'e' so the spellings of Tharpe.

The Allentharpe family attended Aquia church and St. Paul's church in Virginia. They were known as "Church of England." After the move to Warren County, Georgia, there was no Church of England in the neighborhood for after the Revolution the people hated the name of England and there were only six Church of England's left in all Georgia. Vincent joined Briar Creek Baptist Church in about 1800 as it was near his house. He was ordained as a minister shortly thereafter. He preached at several churches in the vicinity, including Sweetwater and Rocky Creek, and was the pastor of Briar Creek from 1802-1811.

In 1809 Vincent A. Tharp sent two sons and some slaves to build a house for him and his family in the Stone Creek neighborhood of Wilkinson County, Georgia. The house was built and the Tharp family moved into the house in 1811. He became pastor of the Stone Creek Baptist Church and remained until his death in 1825. Stone Creek was one of the earliest churches in the county and soon ecame an influential church. It was called the Mother Church for middle Georgia. Vincent served as Moderator of the Ebeneezer Baptist Association a number of years. He preached at Richland Baptist Church in Twiggs County and served other churches in the neighborhood.

This story is told of Vincent in a book by Mrs. McSwain. While preaching Vincent carried a small songbook in his pocket. One day his son, John, who was known for being mischievous, made a switch in the pocket contents. During the service when it was time to sing, Vincent reached in his pocket and pulled out a deck of cards. Everyone had a good laugh. Vincent, however, wasn't amused.

To this union of Vincent T. Allentharp and Miss Rogers two known children were born: 1. John A., born September 1, 1781 2. Mary A. born January 28, 1783

To the union of Vincent T. A. Tharp and Sarah Pierson eight known children were born: 1. Elizabeth, born September 11, 1787, died before 1829 2. William, born October 5, 1788, September 25, 1841 3. Charnick, born February 27, 1790, died November 19, 1867 4. Nancy, born January 15, 1792, died 1843 5. Jeremiah, born October 1, 1793, died June 26, 1870 6. Fletcher, born November 17, 1797, died September 12, 1825 7. Rebeccah, born October 3, 1801, died young 8. Sarah, born January 25, 1803.

Vincent died September 23, 1825, and was buried in the old cemetery on the top of a high, rocky hill near where they original Stone Creek Baptist Church then stood. Sarah Tharp continued to live in the old homeplace after Vincent's death. She died January 1, 1832, and was buried in the cemetery on the church grounds next to her husband. However her grave was never marked. A Daughters of the American Revolution Marker, was placed on Vincent's grave on October 30, 1955. It was said of him "benevolence and hospitality was prominent traits in his character."

An obit from the Macon paper says of Sarah “Died. On the 2d instant, at her residence in Twiggs County, Mrs. Sarah A. Tharp, widow of the late Rev. Vincent A. Tharp, in the 68th year of her age. She had been a member of the Baptist Church for many years previous to her death and died in the full triumph of her faith. The church with which she was connected has lost one of its brightest ornaments.”

On Monday, March 19, 1987, it was discovered that vandals had dug up the grave of Rev. Vincent A. Tharp. Thankfully the vandals had not dug deep enough to disturb the 162-year-old coffin and remains. The decision was made by family members to remove the graves from the now remote area and bring them down the hill to a safe setting. At this time it was noticed that on the bottom of Vincent's marker is the statement that it was made in Italy. The old markers were sent to America as ballast for a ship. This one came to Savannah, Georgia, and it was the custom in those days to haul the markers by oxcart the two hundred miles from Savannah. The graves were moved to the Davis Family Cemetery near Macon, and a dedication ceremony was set for June 6, 1987. This cemetery is located in a chin link fenced area, about a 100 yards off the north side of Franklinton Road, approximately 1-2 tenths mile off Highway 80 between Macon and Dry Branch, Georgia (closer to Dry Branch). Exit I-16 at Spring Street and take Highway 80 south 7 miles.

Obituary for Vincent and Sarah Allentharp

Macon Messenger Sept 18, 1825

Died in Twiggs County on the 24th inst. the Rev. Vincent A. Tharp, aged about 60 years. He had been for many years one examplary and zealous preacher of the Baptist denomination.

Macon Messenger Jan 14, 1832

Died on the 2d instant, at her residence in Twiggs County, Mrs. Sarah A. Tharp, widow of the late Rev. Vincent A. Tharp in the 66th year of her age -- member of the Baptist Church for many years.

The following was published in The Macon Telegraph and News, Sunday Morning, April 19, 1953


Nearly a century and a half ago a small group met in Wilkinson County and decided to undertake the ambitious task of founding a "frontier" church.

Choice of a site that would provide some semblance of accessibility to all families in the sparsely settled area was one of the first hurdles.

The founders - two elders and 10 members - on Sept. 3, 1808 held the first services in the Stone Creek Baptist Church near the location of the present Dry Branch postoffice.

One of the elders, Henry Hooten, occupied the pulpit at the services and at all worship hours for the following three years.

His congregation consisted of Elder Michael Fulgham, Stancil Barberee, James Powell, Theo Pearce, James Rodgers, Lucretia Powell, Susanna Pearce, Mary Barberee, Ann Farmer, Mary Rodgers and Rachael Collin.


Two years later, on Nov. 24, 1810, the church moved across the county line a distance of five miles into what was known as the Stone Creek Academy.

The founding pastor stepped down and Vincent T. A(llen)Tharp received the nod of the congregation to carry on Mr. Hooten's duties.

In the next two decades the church underwent a transition. Its roll swelled and its spiritual influence took on a far-reaching appearance. By the early 1830s the church was the most prominent in Missionary Baptist circles within a radius of 100 miles.

Church custom dictated that each member's slaves were to be added to the congregation. Galleries were installed around the ceiling of the auditorium for the "blacks." Sundays would find plantation owners, farmers and their families in the lower pews and their slaves worshipping in partially enclosed balconies above.


During this period a request came from a group of Baptists in the newly-chartered city named Macon. The Maconites' petition asked assistance in setting up a mission in the Ocmulgee River town.

The Stone Creek church's membership pitched in and helped form what today is called the First Baptist Church here (Macon).

Even 100 years ago churches faced the now-too-common problem of cramped quarters. So on Jan. 26, 1850 plans were drafted and timbers cut for a new building. So on Jan. 26, 1850 plans were drafted and timbers cut for a new building.

Of colonial architecture and with the same slave galleries the church went up. Today the structure still stands.

But Wilkinson County was divided* and the church became a part of the new Twiggs County.

Some 300 members worship there now with the Rev. Earl M. Thames, who recently accepted the pastorate.

The passing of time has had little effect** on the aged structure. Its foundation is laid with brick from the original building. Inside, the thick, sturdy panels were hewed out timber from the first church and many old fixtures adorn today's church.

Despite the enduring qualities, the 20th century has made a few contributions in the form of a modern heating plant and electric lights.

*On April 30, 1953, only a few days after the above article was published, the 1850 structure described was completely destroyed by a tornado. According to one observer, "the age old timbers and planks were just a pile of sticks." jrh

**Twiggs County was created in 1809 which means that the church building of 1810 was in Twiggs County. jrh

A book, History of Stone Creek Baptist Church, by Billy Walker Jones, Dec. 1961, can be found in the genealogy department of Washington Library in Macon.

Roster of Revoluntinary Soldier In Georgia Vol 1 states: VINCENT A. THARP, b. Wales, 1760; came to Va., then to S.C.; d. Twiggs Co., Ga., 1825. Served as private in S.C. Troops under Gen. Francis Marion. Was a gun-smith by trade and was detailed to make guns for Continental Army. After the war, was a Baptist minister of Ga. Mar. (1) name unknown; (2) Sarah Persons.
Children (known):
1. Jeremiah All, a Sol. of 1812, mar. Jane Dunn.
2. William, mar. Martha Davis
3. Chadwick, mar. Elizabeth ---.
4. John, mar. Obedience Elizabeth Hatcher.

Georgia Archives
History of Stone Creek Baptist Church
Gerogia Baptist Historical and Biographical, Early Ed.
Notes of the Allentharp and Tharp Families - Eleanor Davis
Sifting Through The Ashes - Eleanor Davis McSwain 1889
"Cousin" Lynda School
US Genweb Project - Twiggs County Georgia
The Macon Telegraph and News
Roster of Revoluntinary Soldier In Georgia Vol 1

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