Helena UMC - South Central


History

A group of interested business and railroad families began having Sunday school over a blacksmith shop with planks positioned on nail kegs for seats. Rev. C. D. Adams, who preached in McRae, would come and hold services once a month in the afternoon. A tent revival was held in 1893, with Rev. C. D. Adams and Rev. C. C. Hines preaching. There were thirty charter members with Mr. W. D. Horton serving as Sunday school superintendent. The land for the church building was bought for $35 from the Helena Company and was built of yellow pine in 1894-1895. It was painted a gleaming white with stained glass windows of gothic design. The roof was steep with a good overhand and complimented with gothic buttresses on either side of the front. The entrance led into an open vestibule with a Sunday school room on either side. Double doors opened into the sanctuary which had a vaulted ceiling with walls of beaded pine joining a wainscoting at the base. The pews were comfortable tongue and grooved slatted pine with rolled arms. It was lighted with dropped electric light fixtures and heated by a potbellied stove which usually had the building warm by the time services were over. The building was completed in 1895-1896, with Rev. C. C. Hines appointed the pastor. At this time, the Woman's Missionary Society was formed and, though it has evolved into the UMW, it continues to be one of the strongest parts of the church. The Sunday school has also been active which helped keep the church together and growing when there were only two Sundays a month for preaching services. 
 
Construction was started on the church annex in 1951, with many of the concrete blocks made at night by the men of the church. The downstairs part of the building included a fellowship hall, bath, and partially furnished kitchen downstairs while the upstairs had a hallway, bath, and five Sunday school rooms. This addition made it necessary to reconstruct the inside of the sanctuary to make room on either side which would contain the stairways to the upstairs annex. This created a choir loft with the pulpit area moved in front of the choir and a low retaining wall between and an altar rail surrounding the pulpit enclosure. A dedication service was held in 1954, with Rev. Burchard Berry as pastor and Rev. M. E. Peavy as District Superintendent.
 
In 1959, under the pastorate of Rev. Earle Hart, the front of the church was reconstructed and brick veneer was added. The vestibule was closed and a porch was added. A new brick parsonage began construction in 1960, behind the church. The former parsonage was sold, removed from the premises and that land became a parking lot. In 1978, a dining room, den, central heat and air, master bed and bath and modern kitchen were added to the parsonage.
 
The loss of their preacher, Harold Brinson, was felt deeply in this church but his widow, Dottie Brinson, preached until a replacement could be found. In 1994, during the 100th birthday, the first female minister was appointed to the church. 

Location

179 8th Street
Helena GA 31037

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Conference Office

735 Pierce Avenue - Macon, GA 31204

PO Box 7227 - Macon, GA 31209

478-475-9286

Administrative Office

520 Professional Drive, Suite 1 - Macon, GA 31201

PO Box 13145 - Macon, GA 31208

478-738-0048 | 800-535-4224

Camping & Retreat Ministries

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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Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.