Founded in 1863 by Reverend Robert B. McCord from Walton County, Georgia, Bold Springs United Methodist Church was born in Thomas County, though it is in Grady County as of 2017. “He brought his family, a few slaves, and a love for his church,” reported his youngest son who passed the story down to a grandson. Both the son and the grandson, J. D. McCord, became ministers.
The eldest McCord quickly settled in and looked for a site to build a church. He found a good spring on J. T. Drew’s property about two miles east of the McCord’s home and the Drews deeded four acres to the church. Sometime later, the church built a parsonage on fifty acres deeded by Mr. McCord to the church and the first minister, Rev. P. C. Harris, moved in.
In 1878, the Reverend H. C. Fentress became the minister and services were held both Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am, attracting large crowds. He suggested a revival but got no support because of the time needed in the
fields. Fentress suggested everyone pray about it until the next Sunday service. Then he announced, without further consultation, the revival would begin Monday, with services at 11:00 am and "early candlelight.” Five young people answered the altar call and three of them became ministers.
By 1888, Bold Springs had approximately 400 members. In the 1930s, Miss Bessie Miller urged the church to build a community house. The Woman’s Society of Christian Service raised the money to complete the building and porches. Mr. Morris Miller donated the plumbing, and Mr. Cull Drew built the kitchen cabinets.
At our Homecoming in 2013, we organized worship around our history and members shared their stories of this church with the congregation. We’re working to expand our history, adding detail and stories which will be sent to the Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum at Epworth by the Sea.
During 2014, we created a mission statement, “to grow in love, share in worship, and reach out in prayer” and we chose three values, “faith, hope, and love.” We started a Seven Minute Sunday School before the Sunday Worship Services and divided the congregation into clusters for fellowship and prayer. We worked with Woodland UMC to revive the Grady County National Day of Prayer, meeting in seven places to pray for the centers of power in our community before gathering at the courthouse for a prayer service. The prayer gathering led to a prayer breakfast for school administrators and, on September 11th
, community heroes. We’ve also placed prayer boxes around the county, inviting people to write down their prayer requests and leave them in the boxes. Volunteers gather those requests and we pray for them at the end of every worship service.
During 2015, we continued our leadership and participation in the National Day of Prayer, the Educators’ Prayer Breakfast, and the Community Heroes Prayer Breakfast. We saw our Wednesday night study grow and thrive, and after we study we sit down to talk and share a meal. We also continued placing prayer boxes in the community.
During 2016-2017, we created new ways to carry out our mission by involving the congregation in worship services. Bold Springs United Methodist Church has enjoyed continuous service to Christ for the past 151 years.