Founded in 1857, Shady Dale Methodist was originally located about two miles distant. The present church, though modernized today, was built just before the Civil War.
Organized in the early 1800s, Concord is one of the most historic churches in Jasper County. It has served both Baptist and Primitive Baptist congregations. Though I don’t believe it’s active today, it appears that it’s still in use for special events. It appears to be well-maintained.
The stacked stone pillars are an indicator of the structure’s age, but not a specific one. My guess is that the church dates to the late 1840s or just after the Civil War. I’d love to know more.
The slat-back pews are among the most unique I’ve seen in any church.
This beautiful church was vacated in 1960, when the congregation constructed a newer facility for their growing membership. It was sold and was later used for a funeral home, the Jasper County Library, and by another non-denominational church . The wing on the right side was a later addition to accommodate offices and a Sunday school. Scott McElheny writes that it was purchased in the early 2000s with hopes of restoration for use as an events center but due to myriad stumbling blocks this never materialized. I have no idea what the plans are for this structure, but it seems a waste to let it just stand empty. Maybe a cultural or arts center would be a good use for the city of Monticello to explore; anything would be better than its present dilemma.
The congregation is one of the oldest in Jasper County. The cemetery dates to 1805 and visitors are welcome to explore the beautiful headstones, statuary, and wrought iron Victorian fencing.
Monticello Historic District, National Register of Historic Places