Blakely First UMC - Southwest


History

     The first Methodist Episcopal minister that settled in Early County in January 1821 was Elder Samuel Johnson.    Rev. John J. Trigg, a circuit rider was sent by the South Carolina Conference in 1822.  In 1824, Rev. Jeremiah Slade was sent to Early County and, in 1827, Rev. Jacob Ozier was in charge of the circuit.  Organized in 1840, this church first met in a building erected in 1852-1853 and shared with the Presbyterians.  The first pastor was Rev. Hilliary Phillips and, at that time, the church was in the Florida Conference.  In 1866, it was returned to the Georgia Conference when that conference divided into the North and South Georgia Conferences.  In 1871, the first church building was torn down and, between 1871-1873, a new wooden building was erected.  This sanctuary had a wooden partition down the middle to separate the men's seating from the women's seating.  The EARLY COUNTY NEWS noted on March 8, 1878, that Blakely had both a Methodist and a Baptist preacher resident for the first time in 1871.  The parsonage was built on College Street in 1897.  The present brick church with stained glass windows was built in 1901.  The architect was Mr. O. H. Sheffield of Cedar Springs.  It was renovated in 1938 under Rev. E. M. Overby's pastorate.  The honor of removing the first shovel of dirt for the groundbreaking of the educational annex went to Mrs. Clara Butler, beloved Blakely lady and oldest member of the church.  Bishop Arthur J. Moore presided at the dedication of this building on Sunday, May 28, 1950. 

Location

397 College Street
Blakely GA 39823