(Old Baptist)

            Rushing Creek Cemetery is a mostly-white cemetery next to Rushing Creek Primitive Baptist Church about 2 miles south of Decaturville. The cemetery is unnamed on the U.S.G.S. Scotts Hill quadrangle (1986). If driving south on highway 69, turn right at Old Baptist Road and you will be at the church and cemetery. There are 10 graves marked with fieldstones and other unmarked and unidentified graves.


Black Burials

A Comment from David Donahue:

            My grandmother, Nannie Jane Pearcy Moore (1896-1990) was the daughter of William Loss Pearcy and Cordellea Savage and granddaughter of James M. Savage who are buried here. She was a member of Rushing Creek Primitive Baptist Church, which was active in the 1840s and seems to have held regular meetings until about 1940. The decoration day here was Mother's Day weekend, the second Sunday in May. Every year my parents would visit my grandparents that weekend, and I would go with my grandmother when she took her flowers to the decoration at Old Baptist. It was she who told me about the black burials in the cemetery.

            AB. These two letters and possibly a third appear on a fieldstone just west of the marker for Samuel Ashcraft. My grandmother told me that this was the grave of a loyal slave who wanted to be buried next to his master. This story seems to have been well known among families using this cemetery. However, Rushing Creek Cemetery is now being used only by the Pearcys. Though some graves get decorated for the weekend, there is no longer a formal decoration. The Sykes family no longer meets here yearly for the decoration. Jehu McCorkle, probably was the last person who knew the history of the church, is dead. The story of the loyal slave probably will die out soon.

            On one of our yearly trips, probably about 1960, my grandmother took me to the northeast corner of the cemetery and showed me about 6-8 graves marked with small fieldstones. She told me that these were nigger graves (her word). I do not remember her telling me anything else about the blacks buried in this area of the cemetery. One could speculate that some may have been members of the church, as mixed-race churches were common before the 1870s. The fieldstones are gone now but several shallow depressions remain visible in the area.


Return to Decatur County, Tennessee Cemetery Records