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Preston UMC - Northwest


In 1984 Rural Hill UMC, in Webster County, of the Preston Charge merged with Preston UMC.

Rural Hill was established around 1892. It was an outgrowth of Bottsford Methodist Church in Sumter County. It was due to distance and crossing the Kinchafoonee Creek that this group organized Rural Hill. They first held services in the Rural Hill Academy, a public school building. In 1901, the first church was built by the members and given its name. A year later the church burned. The members "struck out" and constructed a new church with their own labor and that of friends of the church. Rural Hill has been on the Bronwood Charge, Richland Charge, and Parrott Charge. As the church program expanded, more space was needed. The members purchased an old abandoned school and had it moved and annexed to the church. The building was extensively remodeled and refinished and provides Sunday school rooms and a large activities room. In the 1960s and 1970s the church was carpeted and remodeled, a bathroom added to the annex and six new Sunday school rooms built on the north side of the church.

Preston UMC was established before 1840 and was originally named Lannahassee. It was located below the railroad where the Terrell Walker home now stands. This first building, 30' x 40', had 12 feet high walls made of river boards. Round poles held up the hip roof covered with rived shingles. The floor was dirt. The church was served by a circuit rider who preached somewhere every day; it took him twenty-seven days to return here. With a great migration of people from South Carolina in 1840, the church became interdenominational. When disagreement arose, the Methodists began meeting in the courthouse until they were given an old wooden building. In 1895, J. B. Hudson gave the present site, and the present church was erected. It had one large room and a small bell tower room with a high steeple. The walls were plastered and the windows of stained glass still extant. In 1952 and 1979, Sunday school annexes were built; in 1957-1958 the front of the building, originally designed by Rev. Douglas Barnes, was renovated and the entrance moved from side to front. The church has been part of the Parrott and Richland Charges.

In 2000 Parrott and Preston joined to form the Parrott/Preston Charge. During 2004 the church UMW supported local charities in Webster County including backpacks for elementary students, Open Door in Columbus, and missionaries in Mexico.



456 Washington Street
Preston GA 31824

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