Tag Archives: Methodist Church

Pearson’s United Methodist Church, Georgia

Altamaha, Tattnall County

Founded in 1868, the church still holds services on the first Sunday of each month.

Powell Chapel School, Georgia

Newman, Coweta County

Built in 1937 by Willie Carlyle, the Powell Chapel School was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The rural school served the local Black community until 1952.

The school is part of the greater property of the Powell United Methodist Church, but it is owned by a group of trustees.

Built initially as the Powell Chapel, the church, cemetery, and school sit on the land that once was a part of the Powell Plantation. The first church building was completed in the 1890s, but it burned in 1907.

The current brick structure was completed in 1920.

The cemetery is contains different areas with headstones. I am uncertain if cemetery is completely full. It is important because it has graves of many freedmen and women.

A James Shelton marker

Cedar Grove Methodist Church, South Carolina

Townville, Anderson County

Built in 1875 on land donated by William Palmer in 1865, Cedar Grove Methodist Church served as both a church and school. Services ceased in 1925, but descendants of the original families continue to care for the church and cemetery.

Mulberry Chapel Methodist Church, South Carolina

Asbury, Cherokee County, South Carolina

This church served the Black communities of Asbury, Thicketty, and Whig Hill. Built in the 1880s, the church held services until the 1940s. It was listed on the National Register in 2012.

This Gothic Revival church is one of the few extant Black churches built in South Carolina prior to 1900 that is still standing.

Sam Nuckles, a Reconstruction Era politician, is buried in the cemetery.

Young’s Chapel Methodist Church, Georgia

Ben Hill County, Georgia

Located on a dirt road in Ben Hill County, Georgia, this church has been documented by many photographers. The congregation formed in 1875. It is believed the church was built in 1876. The church closed its doors in the 1970s. Since then it has been a slow decline which was sped up when the area was hit by a tornado in 2017. There is a cemetery in the back of the church, and it is surrounded by cotton fields.

Caney Head Methodist Church, Georgia

Roosterville, Heard County

Caney Head Methodist Church is typical of a Southern rural church, but one of its most famous residents, Mayhayley Lancaster, a lawyer, political activist, midwife, and oracle, is not.

Mayhayley Lancaster, 1875-1955

As a woman with many professions, she was also the first woman to run for the Georgia legislature. Yet, she is most known for her roles in high profile Georgia trials. She was part of the defense team for the Leo Frank trial. Additionally, she played a role in the Wallace trial, later known as Murder in Coweta County. A made-for-tv movie later starred Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith.

Founded before 1833, the church started in another location about a mile from the current location. According to church records, there have been four church buildings. This one was built in 1897. Still an active church, the cemetery features several different types of grave markers that are prominent throughout the South.

Harriett Lancaster, 1852-1935-This is Mayhayley’s mother. The marker’s symbolism represents the Biblical quote, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.”
There aren’t many grave houses left. This is a well-maintained one.

Gillespie Chapel, North Carolina

Macon County

Built in the late 1870s, the Gillespie Chapel sits atop a steep hill where the front steps put you close to the edge of the hill. Regular services ended in 1975, but it now serves the Upper Cartoogechaye area as a community space.

Madonna Figure, Georgia

Camden County, Georgia
Flossy Scott Fisher and child, Rising Daughter Baptist Church. I was able to find the death records for Flossy Scott Fisher. She died in childbirth which explains the Madonna figure and the headstone next to her.

My friend, Brian Brown, and I planned a photo trip while I was down at St. Simons for the week. As I was looking through Find-a-Grave, I noticed these vernacular figures repeated in a couple cemeteries. We decided to take a look. After seeing a couple, we realized they were likely a Mary/Madonna figure. The elements have worn off many of the details.

Since these were all in cemeteries of Black churches, it is possible that a local funeral home did them, or that it was a local artist. This is the first time I’ve personally seen a connection in monuments like these in several cemeteries. Even though likely cast, I do consider these vernacular in nature.

Grace Scarlott, Rising Daughter Baptist Church
Macchca Mowat Alderman, Clinch Chapel Methodist Church
Side view of Macchca Mowat Alderman, Clinch Chapel Methodist Church
Sina Green, Oak Hill Methodist Church
Backside of Sina Green, Oak Hill Methodist Church
Unknown, Oak Hill Methodist Church

Poplar Spring School and Church, Georgia

Atlanta, Fulton County

The Poplar Spring School sits on the grounds of the Poplar Spring United Methodist Church. Built when the church was a part of Campbell County, this is a beautiful example of a one-teacher type school.

The church began in 1867 in a brush arbor. This is at least the third physical structure the church has had in it’s history. You can read more of their history on the chirch’s website. Outside of the church and school, there is a small cemetery and picnic area on the church grounds.

Rock Chapel United Methodist Church, Georgia

Rock Chapel Methodist Church was the oldest Methodist congregation in DeKalb County, Georgia. Founded in 1825, the congregation started on what is Rock Chapel Road near where the Joseph Bond house is. In 1834, Bond donated land west of its first location. A church was built that burned in 1870. The current structure is what replaced that building.

Based on church documents, enslaved members were included in the church rolls. In 1846, 11 people were listed. In the 1858 rolls, the comgregation included 61 enslaved people.

Based on information I found online, I believe the congregation dissolved in 2016.