Tifton First UMC - South Central


History

Before the church was organized, a group met in a shanty east of Tift's lumber yard. In March 1882, with seven members, J. J. F. Goodman, a Justice of the Peace, later a local preacher, organized the church in a two-story building used for church and school on the lower floor and Mason on the second floor. The first building, begun in 1888, was hit by arson three times but finished in 1889, with members standing guard. In 1896, Tifton FUMC became a station church. In 1901, a brick building was constructed on Love Avenue but this sanctuary grew too small. 
 
In 1947, construction began on two units on the present site. On August 31, 1952, the first services were held in the new facility. The Methodist Men's club was organized in 1953, and the Schantz pipe organ was purchased in 1963. In 1955, this church helped organize Trinity by purchasing a lot and contributing members and, in 1963, it helped organize Herring Memorial. Tifton FUMC has hosted sessions of the Annual Conference of South Georgia in 1921, 1943, 1967, and 1979.  Family night suppers began in 1979 to encourage families to attend a prayer meeting service. Club 55 also started in 1979, for fellowship for members over the age of fifty-five years of age. The centennial anniversary of Tifton FUMC was celebrated in 1982.  In 1988, the Kitchen Band started and had members using selected kitchen utensils as instruments under the direction of Bill Hale, the music minister. A fiftieth anniversary celebration was held in the summer of 2002, celebrating the move from the sanctuary on Love Avenue to the present site. In the summer of 2004 and 2005, Dr. Buddy Walker led a team of 15 people on a medical mission trip to Peru.
 
In 2014, Rev. Stephen Webb announced his retirement after three years at Tifton First. The UMW held Baby Recognition Day in March 2014. In May, "Movie on the Lawn" was held. In June, Rev. Benjy Varnell started as pastor and the church mission group left for Haiti. In November the Fred Tucker Roast was held, with proceeds used to help area youth. Church in the Park and "Hanging of the Greens" were also held.
 
The Forward Future campaign helped with the renovations of the Social Hall kitchen in 2015. Sermons from both of the church ministers, Rev. Benjy Varnell and Rev. Paula Lewis, can be viewed on the church website. The pre-school, which began in 1973, had one hundred thirty children registered in 2015. The annual Easter Egg Hunt and Boy Scout Sunday were held in March. An indoor picnic was held in July so that members who attend different services could visit with each other. Club 55 held a successful yard sale in October, with profits going to church needs and community charities. Other October activities included Ladies Night Out and the Annual Fall Festival. In December, the Church had a float in the town Holiday Parade, a Children's Musical, "The Loaned Manager," a Birthday Party supper for Jesus, and an Adult Musical.

 

Location

107 12th Street West
Tifton GA 31794

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735 Pierce Avenue - Macon, GA 31204

PO Box 7227 - Macon, GA 31209

478-475-9286

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520 Professional Drive, Suite 1 - Macon, GA 31201

PO Box 13145 - Macon, GA 31208

478-738-0048 | 800-535-4224

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99 Arthur J. Moore Dr - St Simons Is., GA 31522

PO Box 20408 - St Simons Island, GA 31522

912-638-8626 | 888-266-7642

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