This church, founded by ex-slaves in 1868, is the center of the African-American community in Odessadale.
Tag Archives: Churches of Meriwether County GA
In 1880, J. M. Brooks, Mrs. Isabella Brooks, and R. S. Bowden gave two acres of land adjacent to Cain Creek for the purpose of “divine worship” by all denominations in the community. It was to be known as Union Hill. Services were held in a brush arbor here until 1883, when the Baptists dispersed to their own congregations, leaving the Methodists to build this church.
Truly one of the most beautiful churches in the area, Trinity has a rich history in Meriwether County. From the historic marker placed by the United Methodist Church: In 1854, Harmony Church near the Ogletree cemetery, Liberty Church close by the old Campbell place, and Providence Church from the Strickland neighborhood, all came together, after twenty-two years of sharing camp meeting worship, to form Trinity Church, believing that “in union there was strength”. The first church building was constructed in 1854, in what was known as the Stinson community, at the intersection of what are now Harry Hardy Road and Winter Road. Reverend Leonard Rush is thought to be the first pastor appointed by the conference, and Mark Crowder was the first Sunday school superintendent. For fifty-four years, Trinity worship services were held in that sanctuary.
That original church building was completely destroyed by a cyclone in April 1908. Services were held in a tent until a new building is completed on the very spot where it stands today; a dedication service was held in 1910. Even though the cost of the new structure was $4,733, that price included a piano and furnishings. Some time between the original formation of Trinity in the building of the current sanctuary, the name of the town had changed from Stinson to Durand. The church’s present sanctuary is located on the site of the antebellum home of Dr. James Winslow Stinson. While digging the foundation for our new addition in 2004, and old, filled in well was discovered. It is possible that, around the turn of the last century, Dr. Stinson drew water from that old well.
In 1954, forward thinking church members decided there was a need for an addition to the church. The current parlor, with a kitchen and dining area in the basement underneath, was completed and has been enjoyed since that time. A complete renovation of the sanctuary, including restoring the beautiful woodwork and pews to the original splendor, was completed in 1978. The stained glass windows on the north side of the church were destroyed by a hailstorm on July 23, 1984. New windows, matching the old ones, were created and installed; glass that was salvaged from the broken sanctuary windows was used to make the two smaller windows currently located in the church vestibules.
The last renovation of the sanctuary was completed in 2003 and included new carpeting and wall coverings. A new sanctuary piano, given in memory of Gladys Crowder, and new chandeliers, given in memory of Henry S Crowder, Jr., are some of the latest additions to this historic and most beautiful building often called the “Little White Church on the Hill.”
In 2004, one hundred and fifty years after the formation of Trinity United Methodist Church, an increase in membership made a need for more space even more apparent. A new, larger fellowship hall and a more serviceable kitchen were constructed to the north of the sanctuary. This addition was completed in time for the 2004 sesquicentennial celebration under the capable leadership of Board Chairman Jeff Cain, Building Committee Chair Glenn Crowder, and Building Supervisor Henry C. (Penny) Mitcham, Jr.
Trinity United Methodist Church is still going strong. Many descendants of the original church founders and many new Trinity families worship here are each Sunday, rooted in a rich heritage of faith in Christ and growing toward a strong future.
The original highway marker for Trinity is now resting safely beside one of the ancient cedars in front of the church. Visit the church website for more information on services.
This historic congregation was formed by Reverend Edward Lanier and Reverend Jesse Sratton on 27 March 1829. The Presbyterians of Greenville were granted a lot in town for the building of a house of worship but sold it and built this one-room church a few miles from town in 1836, preferring a rural setting. Though it never boasted a large congregation, Greenville Presbyterian was quite active in the community. Dwindling membership and a newer church in Greenville, Stacy Presbyterian, led to the closure of the church in 1963 but it reopened in 1972. A small but determined congregation still holds services here. Greenville Presbyterian is significant as one of just a few antebellum Presbyterian churches in Georgia.
The cemetery is one of the most historic in the area. Perhaps the most fascinating interment is John Gaston, who was famously known as “The Giant”, for his 7’6″, 340-pound stature at a time when the average height was about 5’7″. Gaston was born in Chester County, South Carolina in 1821 and died in Woodbury in 1866. His slab has been damaged over the years, and a smaller adjacent slab corrects previous statistics, which stated his height as 7′ and his weight at 430 pounds.
From the historic marker placed in 1957 by the Georgia Historical Commission: When a new building was completed in 1939, the name of this church, established in 1844 as Prospect Methodist Church, was changed to Allen-Lee Memorial Methodist Church to honor two of its illustrious members, Dr. Young J. Allen and Dr. J. W. Lee. Dr. Young John Allen, born in Burke County, Jan. 3, 1836, was reared by an aunt, Nancy (Wooten) Hutchins, near Lone Oak. In 1851, during a sermon by Rev. John W. Yarbrough, first pastor at old Prospect, Dr. Allen was so deeply convicted of sin and the need for salvation that he jumped from the window and fled into the woods. Returning to the church, he was converted and, in 1859, sailed to China as a missionary and teacher. Bishop Warren A. Candler, in his book, “Young John Allen – The Man Who Seeded China”, said: “His great work opened the way for the Gospel in China and made easier the task of every missionary in that vast Empire”. Dr. Allen died in 1907. Dr. James Wideman Lee, native of Lone Oak, was outstanding in the North Georgia Methodist Conference. He later became a renowned minister in a leading church in St. Louis, Mo., and was influential in founding the Barnes Hospital there. His uncle, William Owen Lee, gave the land for this church.
This church is quite proud of its long history and the following information comes from their website: Bethel Baptist Church of Rocky Mt. was established in 1829. In 1933 the first electric lighting was installed in the sanctuary. Over the years there have been many upgrades made to the church sanctuary, but the original church design has been preserved. The bell tower houses the church bell. No one knows the origin of the bell, but records indicate that it was used as early as 1904. The baptismal pool located below the church is filled with natural spring waters for baptisms. There is no indication in records as to how old the pool is, but it was used in 1900 by Rev. W.P. Head to perform a baptism.
The conical steeple (bell tower) is of a design I’ve only seen on one other church in Georgia, Guyton United Methodist. Though the Guyton steeple is much taller, I believe they may have been made by the same craftsman, or they may have been manufactured.
This congregation began as a Methodist Episcopal church in 1831. The first church was built in 1838 and sold for use as a school in 1842 when a second structure was completed. It remained in use until a powerful tornado destroyed it, along with much of Greenville, on 3 March 1893. A new house of worship, the present one, was completed by 1895.
Greenville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places