Camilla UMC - Southwest


History

       Camilla's MECS mission was planned in 1859 and first met in the wooden county court house.  Plans for the church were approved by the Florida Annual Conference and Rev. James W. Jackson was appointed as the first pastor.  Services were held once a month when the pastor was able to make the trip.  In 1866, Camilla MECS formed it's first Sunday school class with Miss Hattie Turner acting as superintendent. The first church building, known as "the little church in the road," was erected in 1870 with Rev. J.T. Ainsworth appointed pastor.  It was a square, wooden building, painted white, with two entrance door on the north and four wooden steps.  As was custom, men sat on the left and women sat on the right.  The Hamlin organ was the first organ in the county and the original church bell was stolen during WWI to be melted down for the war.  The first parsonage was built of green pine logs, skinned of bark, near the present day site.  A new four room parsonage replaced it in 1888.  In 1901-1902, another parsonage replaced the 1888 structure.  This was remodeled in 1944-45 and later sold after the 1984 fire.  In 1877, there were 206 baptisms and a circuit membership of 365.  
     Plans were made for a new church structure in 1897.  This sanctuary had a brick veneer, pipe organ, a crystal chandelier, and stained glass windows.  Camilla MC became a station church in 1907.  In 1917, the church building was struck by lightning and caught fire.  Services were held in the school building and a third church structure was completed.  On Christmas Day, 1938, the debt for this was cleared and the church was dedicated by Rev. James H. Wilson.  In 1948, the MYF was organized, as well as the Methodist Men's Club with their first president B.W. Hughes, Sr.  The church sponsored a Boy Scout troop and, in 1955, Earl Ford, Jr., was the first to be awarded Eagle Scout in Camilla.  The third church structure was destroyed by fire on August 21, 1984.  On June 8, 1986, ground breaking for the new and fourth Camilla UMC was held with Rev. Frank H. Harris as pastor.  The church chose a Neo-Gothic architectural style using red brick from Valdosta and Indiana limestone tracery cut in Atlanta.  The stained glass windows are based on the "i am's" of the Bible with the twelve side panel windows following the same theme.  Rev. Frank. H. Harris opened the services in the new sanctuary on Palm Sunday, 1988.  Camilla UMC won Church of the Year in the Thomasville District in 1988.  
     In September, 1997, the Camilla UMW began selling afghans with designs depicting scenes in Mitchell County.  Over 600 afghans were sold with funds being donated to the Boys and Girls Club, the Hispanic Ministry, Vashti School, and the church's own preschool.  In 2001, the UMW helped sponsor Pat and Twila Ford on a mission trip to Jamaica where they taught Bible school.  In 2002, the UMW furnished a room at the Mitchell County Hospital in their adopt-a-room program.  

Location

39 S Harney Street
Camilla GA 31730