The Gullah, also known as Geechee, are a people descended from African slaves living in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia. Originally the Gullah region extended from the Cape Fear region on the coast of North Carolina to the Jacksonville area on the coast of Florida. The terms "Gullah" and "Geechee" are belived to have come from the Ogeechee River near Savannah. Through the course of history, the terms have come to refer to both the people and their language, and also as a means to identify themselves as a distinct group.
Within this geographic area, more than 90 rural churhces dating from the Colonial and Post-Revolutionary periods of Georgia history exist. The churches are located on both sides of the Ogeechee River, and extend from near Sunbury on the coast inland to the vicinity of Augusta, Louisville, and Wrightsboro. Many of these are the earliest examples of Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches in the state of Georgia. Several of these early churches are featured in this collection of photographs taken by Samuel "Fred" Hood during the 1970s.