The Leesburg Methodist story 1874-1974 a century of Christian witness

Collection:
Lee County Library Local History Collection
Title:
The Leesburg Methodist story 1874-1974 a century of Christian witness
Creator:
Roberts, Curtis C.
Gibson, Rebecca V.
Date of Original:
1974
Subject:
Methodist Church--Anniversaries, etc.
Methodist Church (U.S.)
Leesburg Methodist Church (Leesburg, Ga.)
Leesburg (Ga.)--History
Location:
United States, Georgia, Lee County, Leesburg, 31.73212, -84.17074
Medium:
books
Type:
Text
Format:
application/pdf
Description:
Book about the centennial history (1874-1974) of the Leesburg Methodist Church in Leesburg, Georgia
Metadata URL:
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/id:lep_lclhc_lclhc11
Digital Object URL:
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/do:lep_lclhc_lclhc11
Language:
eng
Extent:
126 pages
Holding Institution:
Lee County Library System (Ga.)
Rights:

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THE
LEESBURG METHODIST
STORY
- By -
CURTIS C. ROBERTS
and
REBECCA V. GIBSON

KINCHAFOONEE
REGIONAL
LIBRARY
TO
the vast number of notable but
unnamed supporters of this church
who have given of themselves
faithfully and unselfishly in
Christian service, without expec-
tation of recognition or reward,
we dedicate this volume.




Curtis C. Roberts
pastor
CONTENTS
Preface--------------------------------------1
Chapter I, "The Outreach of Early Meth-
odism", before 1874-----------------------3
Chapter II, "Methodism Comes to Lees-
burg" , 1874-1893------------------------23
Chapter III, "Leesburg Church After Re-
location" , 1894-1931--------------------27
Chapter IV, "Twenty-Five Years as the
Leslie-Leesburg Charge",
Nov. 1931-June 1956----------------------4l
By Curtis C. Roberts, Pastor
Chapter V, "Leesburg, a Station Church",
Since June 1956------------------------- 63
By Rebecca V. Gibson
APPENDIX
1974 Church Directory---------------------92
Pictures of 1974 Church Officials-----------93
List of Past Presidents of Local Church
Organizations----------------------------96
List of Church School Superintendents,
Lay Leaders, Vacation Church School
Directors, etc.--------------------------97
1973 Report to Annual Conference,
Tables I and II--------------------------98
About United Methodist Women---------------100
IV
Appendix, Cont'd:
Pastoral Appointments:
In Lee County, before 1874-------- 105
Leesburg,-1874-1908--------------- 106
Leesburg, 1909-1943--------------- 107
Leesburg, 1944-1974--------------- 108
Bibliography----------------------- 109
v
PREFACE
This history has been prepared as a part
of the Centennial celebration of the LEESBURG
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, being held simultaneous-
ly with the City of Leesburg Centennial. The
date of the constitution or organization of the
church is not known, but the South Georgia Annual
Conference began making appointments to Leesburg
in December 1873 for the year 1874.
Annual Conference Journals on file at Epworth-
By-The-Sea have been carefully researched for the
names of past pastors. A chart containing each
appointment is included in this book.
It has been the aim of the pastor and the local
historical committee to present a history based on
thoroughly documented material from the local
church, the annual conference, county records, and
other historical works. Little attempt has been
made to narrate or interpret, but to locate and
assemble into an orderly sequence information re-
lated to the Methodist church in Leesburg.
Historical material such as maps, pictures and
accounts of non-church happenings have been in-
cluded to allow the reader to get the best perspec-
tive of the succession of events.
Acknowledgment is gratefully made to Ray Dunlap
for his laboratory work in getting the pictures,
maps and charts ready for printing; to Miss Martha
Dye for her help and advice; to committee members
for their many hours of research done in old county
newspapers and elsewhere; to Mrs. Rebecca V. Gibson
who wrote the last chapter of this book; and to all
who gave words of encouragement or helped in any
way, I am indebted.
1
May the long and eventful past of this church
be onlya beginning of an even more significant
ministry 'in the future. It is my prayer that
better records will be kept of present events, and
that an on-going history will: be kept in the future.
Curtis C. Roberts, pastor
The Historical Committee:
Miss Bertha Cannon
Mrs. J. M. Rhodes1
Miss Nettie Mae Bass
Richard F. Neff
Bill Cannon
Mrs. Jas. L. Smith
Mrs. J. D. Bass
Mrs. James Cannon
Mrs.* Rebecca V. Gibson
Ray W. Dunlap
September, 1974,
2
CHAPTER I
THE OUTREACH OF EARLY METHODISM
Before 1874
Methodism Comes to Georgia.
In 1735 General James Edward Oglethorpe went
to London, England to recruit men for a new model
colony in Georgia. For secretary, he chose Charles
Wesley. John Wesley, who was filled with a great
desire to convert the pagan Indians, went along as
missionary; but disillusionment came to both the
Wesleys in a short time. Although Charles stayed
in Georgia only five months, John stayed until
December 2, 1737, less than two years. His
ministry to the Indians was a most disappointing
experience. He described them as "gluttons,
thieves....liars".
However, many scholars believe that the
"Georgia Experience" may have contributed in a
very real way to Wesleys continued spiritual
quest, which resulted in the Aldersgate experience
on May 24, ;1738, in London.
Georgia can be proud that such distinguished
early leaders of Methodism as John Wesley, Charles
Wesley and George Whitfield lived and worked here,
if only for a short time. Although John Wesley
never returned, he continued to have a great in-
terest in America. His interest resulted in the
sending of missionaries to establish "societies",
and history is rich concerning early Methodism's
growth in the new world. The evangelistic fervor
of a long line of great preachers is a vital part
of American heritage. The preacher who made the
greatest impact upon early American Methodism may
well be Francis Asbury.
It is doubtful that Methodism as we know it
existed in Georgia before the end of the American
Revolution. The Methodist movement in America
3
was organized in 1784 at the "Christmas Confer-
ence" in Baltimore, Maryland, and work was soon
recorded in the new State of Georgia. Success
was astounding.
No members were reported in 1784, but there
were 59,120 members reported in the Georgia
Annual Conference by 1865, after the Civil War.
From its approximate beginning in 1785 until
1831, Georgia Methodism was a part of the South
Carolina Conference.
Creation of Lee County.
In 1825 a significant event in local history
was a treaty which was made with the Creek Indians,
procuring approximately 5,850 square miles of land
between^the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers, 130
miles long and 45 miles broad.
From this land, Lee County was created by acts
of June 9, 1825 and December 11, 1826 from Creek
cessions of January 24, 1826 and March 31, 1826.
The land lay immediately above the old line of
Early County and was known as the first section.
Lee County was bounded on the north by a large
section, composing the county of Muscogee.
The expansive Lee County was almost unknown to
white men, had no stage coach line, and no town nor
hamlets. In 1827 a land lottery was held, and
grants of 202^ acres per land lot brought settlers
from the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The Georgia Annual Conference Formed.
On January 27, 1830, another important event
took place at the Methodist Annual Conference level.
At the close of the session of the South Carolina
Conference, the Conference was divided, with the
Georgia and South Carolina state line as the line
of division. The new Georgia Conference, however,
included all Methodist work in the Territory of
Florida.
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COPT OP SKBTCH ownod by S.P. Crotwoll, County Surveyor
5
'Starksville-the County Site.
During this same period, the organization
of Lee County was completed as of Dec. 20, 1832,
and the public site in the county was located on
Land Lot Number 241 in the 13th District of the
county. The town was named Starksville, in honor
of General John Stark, a hero of the Indian Wars.
This site was a half mile west of Muckalee Creek
and seven miles east of the Kinchafoonee Creek.
Trouble with the Creek Indians.
Settlers were slow to move into the county
because of the constant danger of Indian marauders,
and the population in 1836 did not exceed 1,000
Whites and Negroes. After the Creek War of 1836
removed the-danger of losing scalps, the population
grew rapidly tbj 5,076 in 1840, consisting of V
2,370 Whites and 2,706 Negroes.
Growth in the Palmyra Area,
Many settled around Palmyra, in the lower part
of the county. People of culture and education
began moving into the county in larger numbers.
The Reverend Jonathan Davis is said to have founded
the first Baptist Church for Whites in Southwest
Georgia, at Palmyra, in 1836.
Methodism comes to Lee County.
Methodist and Baptist preachers were said to
have had churches and members among the slaves
before the white settlements were numerous enough
to support churches.
Although the Baptist church seems to have been
established first at Palmyra, the Methodist church
seems to have been established first around
Starksville. A Methodist Church, near the
* By 1847 the spelling of the town's name was
Starkville.
6
residence of Green Knoles in the 13th District,
was incorporated in December, 1842, under the
name and style of Cany or Caney Head Methodist
Church, with Isaac 0. Edwards, Edward Moreland,
Leroy Stanford, Almerena Brunson, John W, Jordan,
George C, Ticnor, Thomas High, and their suc-
cessors as trustees. The minister is thought to
have been Rev. Thomas Godwin.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, South,
Formed in 1844.
At the General Conference held in 1844, a
major division developed in the church over the
slavery question. It resulted in the formation
of the METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. The
Georgia Annual Conference became a part of this
newly designated Church.
This same General Conference also provided for
the formation of a Florida Annual Conference at
the same time that Florida's statehood was in the
making. About half of the work in the Florida
Conference was in South Georgia. The line crossed
Georgia north of Brunswick, Waycross, Tifton, and
Albany.
Other Church Growth.
By 1849 Starksville also had a Baptist Church.
There were at this time also some Presbyterians
and Episcopalians in the County who worshipped in
Albany. One of the first Methodist churches in
Lee County for the slaves was New Hope Methodist,
established in 1853 approximately 2 miles west of
the later site of Smithville.
A Starksville Methodist Preacher.
The Autobiography of Rev. J. B. McGehee, of
the South Georgia Conference, gives a first-hand
insight into the work of an early Methodist
preacher in Lee County.
7
REV. J. B. MeGEHEE. D.D.
8
Thus he describes his reaction to being
assigned to Starksville:
"When the Bishop read, 'Starkville Circuit,
J. B, McGehee', I wondered, Where? What is
it? How shall I go? I had read that the
Lord God said it is not good for man to be
alone; also that marriage is honorable in
all men; that our 24th Article of Religion
teaches that ministers of Christ are not
commanded by God's law to cling to the state
of single life, I concluded it was lawful
for me and all other Christians to marry at
their own discretion. With this I generous-
ly excused St. Paul and Asbury and decided it
was best for me to go in pursuit of some fair
maiden just suited to my mind and my life work
Being thus persuaded, he proceeded to make a
selection and was married in December 1854.
They then set out on their bridal tour, described
as follows;
"My ideas of a bridal tour may astonish some
people--especially those who fail to know I
am 'unique.' I think a trip of that kind
should be simple, inexpensive, and through the
woods, if your work is located on the other
side of the woods. My work, Starkville in
Lee County, was such a charge. As there were
no railroads to Starkville, or near there, and
no automobiles or aeroplanes, we made for the
Muckalee village in a new buggy moved by
horse power. Passing through Dooly we invaded
Lee, and after a while, without accident or
incident, found ourselves at the home of
Brother Probus Floyd in the suburbs of the lit
tie city.
9
Brother Probus had married a Houston county
girl, knew their worth, and he And the good
wife were prepared-to give us a warm welcome.
In Starkville I found a small membership. The
Munros, Warrens, Judge Wyche and others lived
there. Judge Wyche, though a Methodist and a
county officer, had never built a family altar,
and never has. What a pity! Years after,
when I was presiding Elder of that district
and the railroad was nearer, I found him at the
railroad station. When the time for family
worship arrived, I read and tried to pray, but
was hindered. Hearing an unusual voice in the
house, the Judge's hound dogs had rushed in and
endeavored to take part, barking and jumping as
though they would quite consume me. The Judge
scolded, but didn't stop the music. Reaching
around he gathered his cane and used it vigor-
ously. That changed the tune, but didn't stop
the music. However, they went out and the Elder
went on. When the performance was over, I
said, 'Judge, I see you-have never erected that
altar--if you had your dogs would not have been
so howling and belligerent.' It does not take
a class meeting to inform a thoughtful pastor.
The behavior of the children, barking dogs and
guineas cackling under the house, as they did
at an up country home, tell a true story."
Brother McGehee goes on to describe the churches
of his wide circuits
"At that time Starkville was more critical
than religious, but they were clever to the
young preacher and his bride. The circuit was
supplied with churches and had membership, in
point of religion and earthly belongings, above
the average. Gilbert Stokes and wife, excellent
Presbyterians, materially aided me. Probus
10
Floyd, a man of God, opened his house to me
without money and without price.' The
Venerable Thomas Speight, another whom I have
already written, did the same. John Moreland,
one of the best men I ever knew, attended
Bethel, four miles from Dawson. He also open-
ed his door, and we had homes and companionship
as good as Georgia furnishedand not a cent
did we pay.
''They were not rich, but they were religious.
If any circuit in North Georgia or South Georgia
can excel that, I hope they will forward for my
Second Edition. I say nothing about assessments,
receipts--money and all that we had enough and
rich as Georgia is today. I would travel a
good ways to spend a night with three men in
same charge who would make such a proposition
to its pastor. That was a good sample of old
Methodism.
At Union the pastor and church had a friend
in John Jordan, who lived nearly a hundred
years and died recently in Atlanta. He was
the father of Rev. John Jordan and Rev. Thomas
Jordan, who died in Savannah. He was one of
the brightest young preachers I ever heard.
"Over at New Hope, now in Terrell, we had
Murrays, Sessions, Hayes, Moomaughs, Wickins,
Lees, a good community that. John Sessions
and John Wilkins were local preachers. That
section abounded in com, meat, milk and honey.
It was far away, but when you reached it you
were in Canaan. The other churches were
Chickasawhatchee, Wesley Chapel, Coney Head,
Harmony, and Pine Knot. Cader Hayes looked
after Pine Knot; Breedlove cared for Harmony;
Judge Leonard Woolbright, Pearce Wilbur, Myron
Weston and Morgan Hall served the other
churches. The descendants of the converts are
still in line. I can't recall any remarkable
revivals during that year. We always held
continued meetings. I usually appointed four
days meetings and protracted if we 'struck oil.
11
If we didn't, I folded my tent.
' While on this circuit a minister of
Calvinistic persuasion suggested that if
I belonged to his church I would find it
remunerative. To that I replied that I
preferred preaching Methodist doctrine and
short rations to giving myself to the narrow-
ness of his church and increased revenue. So
be it then, thenceforth forever."
In his book published in June 1915, he
further comments that during his year at Starks-
ville (1854-55), Webster supplanted Starksville.
This refers to the moving of the county seat to
Webster; however, records indicate that the
courthouse was moved back to the Starksville site,
only to be destroyed by fire two years after its
return.
The Rev. McGehee makes an interesting obser-
vation on the length of pastorates. He said:
"Away back in the history of Methodism the
pastors changed at the end of six months.
But I have been a stickler for the old two
years pastorate and fought the extension to
four. I have never seen a reason for Methodism
going beyond the four, or seeking to do so
under the plea of leaving it entirely with the
Bishop. Possibly if the Bishop could appoint
everyone to places where milk and honey flow,
it might affect enough to favor an unlimited
pastorate. Don't say, barely suggest, the
possibility of such a catastrophe to our
Methodism."
This most interesting personality gives some
insights into the days when the country and the
church were young.
12
The New Railroad Misses Starksville
When the first section of the railroad from
Americus to Albany was opened to Sumter City in
Sumter County, just above the site of what was
later Smithville, the citizens of Lee County
brought their combined efforts to bear on the
Southwestern Railroad to let the Albany line run
near Starkville. However, following the high
land between the Kinchafoonee and Muckalee Creeks,
the railroad was laid some 3 or 4 miles west of
Starksville. The road was completed to Albany by
September 5, 1857. This was a major blow to the
county site and contributed to much more dis-
satisfaction with Starksville as the county seat,
for the railroad was greatly needed as a means of
shipping and transportation.
A Description of Starksville.
Starksville is described in the Georgia
Historical Records Survey, printed in 1942 in the
following way:
"In the political and social excitement of the
years before the War, Starkville was said to
have begun a career as a 'wide open , rip-
snorting' town, and the mecca for all kinds of
sporting events. Twelve saloons supplied the
thirsty. Four wide-open gambling halls were in
operation...there was no curfew to ring, and
the bars and joints were 'all-nighters.' "
After such a description of conditions in
Starksville at that time, one should not be
surprised at the short pastorates of the period.
At any rate, those were turbulent and trying days.
Georgia Secession and War Declared.
It was during the pastorate of John B. Wardlaw
at Starksville, that the Georgia Secession
13
Convention met in Milledgevilie, and on January
19, 1861, voted for secession, Lee County was
placed in the 2nd Confederate Georgia Congres-
sional District on March 23, 1861,
Then it happened. On April 13, 1861, the
Confederates in South Carolina fired on Fort
Sumter, and ten days later Governor Brown of
Georgia proclaimed the existence of a state of
war. Lee County was no exception in the agoniz-
ing experiences that a civil war brings.
That year the Starksville mission reported that
the pastor served 5 preaching places for white
people and 4 for the colored people. The member-
ship was 111 in full communion and 54 probationary
members; also noted was 4 Sabbath schools.
Webster has a Pastor appointed.
The next year, 1862, it is interesting to find
that in addition to the appointment made to
Starksville, an appointment was also made to
Webster, now one of the ghost towns of Lee County.
The town of Webster is said to have been located
about 1% miles west of U.S. Highway # 19, on what
is now known as the Prison Camp Road. The property
is now part of what is known as the Pinewood
Plantation. All that is left to mark the spot
where the town stood is two sets of brick doorsteps
and comer pillows for what was once a church and
later a school.
The Webster circuit showed a membership of 235
White members in full communion, 25 whites on pro-
bation, 165 colored in full communion, and 50
colored on probation. After 1866 no appointment
to Webster is recorded. (See the roll of Pastoral
Appointments, Lee County before 1874)
"k k k k
At the Georgia Annual Conference held in
Columbus, 1863, appointments were made for two
years (1863 & 1864). It is concluded that the
14

Brick steps and pillows, the only visible
remains that mark the spot where the town
of Webster reportedly stood.
15
omission of an Annual Conference at that time
must have been made necessary because of the
War. It was reported that $377.75 was contributed
by the Starksville mission, with an additional
$101 for Army missions. The appointment of Rev.
Theophilus S. L. Harwell was made to Starksville
and Colored Mission. It is the first time a
distinction is made like this, and seems to
indicate worshipping separately according to
race, while being served by the same pastor.
* * * *
According to a booklet authorized by the
Lee County Commissioners in 1895, the town of
Smithville was incorporated during 1863, which
was during the Civil War period.
The Georgia Annual Conference Divided, 1866,
When the Civil War ended in April, 1865, with
the Surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court
House, Virginia, Southern church life was in a
badly disorganized state. Certain disagreements
arose within the Georgia Annual Conference which
led to a decision to divide the Conference.
The General Conference of the M. E. Church,
South convened in New Orleans in April, 1866,
which was the first time since 1858. At that
General Conference the Georgia Annual Conference
was authorized to divide during the quadrennium
if it seemed advisable.
At the next session of the Georgia Annual Con-
ference which convened at Americus, Ga., it was
voted to divide the conference into two separate
conferences, designated as North and South.
The first appointments for South Georgia were
read out in Americus, Dec. 5, 1866, by Bishop
McTyeire, on Wednesday night. One should note
here that in those days the appointments took
effect when read out and most of the men never
returned to the work they had served for the
preceding year.
16
The first session of the new South Georgia
Conference convened at Trinity Church in Savannah
on December 11, 1867, with Bishop George Foster
Pierce presiding. The membership of the conference
was reported as 18,626 Whites and 6,917 Colored.
This represented about half as many members as was
in the North Georgia Conference.
When the South Geogia Conference was formed
in 1866, the Florida Conference had six Districts,
and three of those came into the new South Georgia
Conference.
JU ^ Jk JL
In 1866 it is noted that there was a Union
Church located near the North Lee County line, a
Thundering Springs Baptist church in the Red Bone
District, and a Methodist Church at Smithville.
Troubled Times.
The grand jury presentments of 1868 reflected
the conditions of the times describing them as
'^troubled and demoralizing". The jury recommended
that the people "educate the ignorant toward
enlightened citizenship" and "to be kind in manner
always on the alert, and prompt in prudent action."
Much of the trouble arose among the 5,000 in-
experienced, newly-freed Negroes who were easily
misguided by the trouble-making carpet-baggers.
The white population was only about 2,000.
,Value of the Churches.
The constructive value of the churches after
the Civil War is recorded in the Historical Records
Survey of Lee County in this way:
"One of the first and most significant trends
among both the white and the colored people
after the Civil War was their interest and
activity in churches. The unsettled conditions
17
and some hardships and want during the period
of freedman reconstruction and the transition
between the large slave plantations and the
later large plantations operated by hired la-
bor, as usual in times of stress, brought in-
creased interest and appeal to spiritual as
well as material matters. Furthermore, the
plantations had been largely the social system
of both the white landowners and colored. It
was true there were the villages, Palmyra and
Starksville, with two or three churches, but
for the most part the white landowners were too
isolated and involved with the operation of the
plantations to build either churches or schools.
The lives of the slaves, of course, were bound
up with their plantations, and the early church-
es formed for them by Methodist and Baptist
ministers were on those plantations. Though
even the vast majority of the colored people
may have stayed on their old master's places,
their center of life was disturbed, and the
situation was not made easier by an increase
between 1860 and 1870 of over 3,500 colored
people. Some of the latter may have come in
during the war to engage in agricultural pur-
suits , others in connection with the carpet-
baggers activities, and others in naive escape
from similar or worse conditions in more popu-
lous counties. The churches became the construc-
tive social centers for both the white and
colored people, and they have remained as such
to the present."
The Smithville Methodist Church.
The Smithville Methodist Church became impor-
tant enough by 1871 to cause the changing of the
road to make it run directly from Cotton Street
in Starksville to the Methodist Church in Smith-
ville *as a convenience."
18
In December of 1871 the appointment was
not made to Starksville and Mission, as was the
previous year, but rather, it then read Smith-
ville and Mission for the years 1872 and 1873,
A Presbyterian Church is Built.
The minutes of the Leesburg Presbyterian
church record that Rev. S. S. Gaillard, an evan-
gelist from Macon, had preached once per month
in the neighborhood during the years 1869, '70,
71, '72. Then sometime in 1872 a church build-
ing was erected. That building was located on
what is now the Leesburg-Leslie Highway, in front
of Pecan Acres and about where the Mrs. Dock
Breeden home is now. Dr. J. P. Stevens and Gilbert
Stokes were elected ruling Elders. Several years
before that time, Rev. J. B. McGehee referred to
Gilbert Stokes and wife as "excellent Presbyter-
ians who materially aided me."
The Calloway Memorial Baptist Church.
In 1870 or 1871 the Baptist Church is said to
have been organized in the community, then called
Wooten Station.
^The Relocation of the County Site,
Much dissatisfaction was evident in the loca-
tion of the County site at Starksville. Then "on
August 20, 1872, the Georgia Legislature appoint-
ed as commissioners Isaac P. Tison, Henry L. Long,
Fred H. West, William T. Sadler, and Virginius G.
Hill to select an eligible spot for the county
site at or near Wooten Station or near Adam Station
on the Southwestern Railroad. The name of the new
county site was to be Leesburg.
"Three days later, Aug. 23, 1872, the legis-
lature incorporated the town of Wooten . The
corporate limits extended 3/4 mile in every dir-
ection from the Baptist Church, in said town."
19
Wooten Station was selected as the county
seat, but its name was not officially changed
to Leesburg until it was approved by the Ga.
Legislature on February 28, 1874--the official
birthday of Leesburg. This same legislative act
made the official center of the town of Leesburg
the court house instead of the Baptist church.
The removal of the county seat from Starksville
to its new site was only three (3) miles, but that
was a mortal blow to the town of Starksville.
Property owners and businesses were hurt. As a
result, property damages were paid to several
Starksville citizens, ranging from $125 to" $500.
Another Ghost Town.
Today, all that is left to mark the spot where
old Starksville stood are the gravestones in two
cemeteries. One Cemetery lies beside Zion Hope
Baptist Church on a lot which was across from the
old public square of former Starksville. The old
church building, which was torn down this year,
is said to have been used first by the white
citizens and then by the blacks. The other ce-
metery location is to the south of the old public
square and across the- present Leslie highway and
may have been the City Cemetery. There, on a
beautiful carpet of green grass which covers the
rolling hillsides,are to be seen many scattered
unmarked indentures and many gravestones, some of
which are standing; but most lie scattered and
broken in a cow pasture. It is a sad and stirring
scene.
What of the Hopes of a Sturdy People?
The hopes, aspirations, and ideals of a sturdy
pioneer people did not die in the people of Lee
County with the death of Starksville; but,rather,
it is seen to take on new life and bear fruit in
the years to come, in the newly selected county
seat of Leesburg.
20
Thus ends a chapter in the onward march of
Methodism. From its first arrival in Georgia,
one has traced its arrival and survival in
early Lee County, on the Georgia "Western
frontier".
As the people of Starksville moved away,
some would move to Leesburg, others would not.
How many would become a part of the Leesburg
Methodist Church, which came into being later,
is not known. One can only guess! It becomes a
part of the mystery around another Lee County
ghost town.
21
Old Zion Hope Baptist Church which was tom down
this- year (1974). It had the distinction of being
the last remaining building of Starksville, a
former county seat of Lee.
Broken gravestones lie scattered in a cow pasture,
marking the location of Old Starksville City
cemetery.
22
CHAPTER II
METHODISM COMES TO LEESBURG
18741893
W. M. Russell, First Pastor.
The Leesburg Methodist Church cannot show a
charter or an organization date. It is not
known where the pastor lived or where the people
worshipped. In the homes? Under a tent? At
a brush arbor? No record has been found to
answer these questions.
But this is known! In December of 1873, a
year of great financial "Panic" in the United
States, the Leesburg Methodist Church received
its first appointment, for the year 1874. That
first appointment to Leesburg is recorded in the
Conference Journals at Epworth-By-The-Sea. It
was at the Seventh Session of the South Georgia
Annual Conference which met in Macon, Ga., Dec.
17-22, 1873, Bishop Paine read the appointments
for the following year. Rev. W. M. Russell was
appointed to serve the Leesburg church, as a
supply pastor. The Leesburg church was in the
Dawson District, with Rev. R. B. Lester named as
Presiding Elder. His charge consisted of only
one church, with 50 white members and no colored.
The church paid their pastor for the year of
1874, $93.50. That was the only year Leesburg
was ever on any District except Americus.
On the Local Scene in Leesburg.
During the first years of the church certain
developments in the newly established city of
Leesburg are worthy of note here. A temporary
courthouse seems to have been used in Leesburg
for awhile. "The grand jury of 1873 complained
that the temporary courthouse was not suitable,
on account of the want of chimneys." A jail was
built in 1875, followed by the building of a
23
*Note: Lot # 160 - the location of the first
recorded property of the Leesburg
Methodist church.
Lot # 30 - the location of the present
church property.
24
courthouse about 1876. It stood in the middle
of what is now Main Street, near Starksville
Street crossing, about even with the present
High School Library building. The Baptist church
was paid $65 for the use of its building for a
temporary courthouse for 6 months, during its
construction. (See City Map)
The Grand Jury Recommends a Donation to Methodist.
During the year of 1877, while L. A. Snow was
the pastor of the Leesburg church (a four church
circuit now), the grand Jury made a recommendation
to the county commissioners to donate a suitable
lot for a Methodist house of worship. However,
no action was reported on this recommendation for
several years. The Leesburg circuit had 150
members and paid its pastor $155 for the year of
1877.
^ JU J. JL
The years that followed appear to have been
difficult years with Leesburg. It was a part of
circuits containing 5 and 6 churches. In the
year of 1882 there was a total of 283 members on
the circuit and the pastor was paid $235 for his
years salary, which was still not as much as $1
per member, per year.
The County Commissioners donate a building lot.
On July 3, 1888, eleven years after the grand
jury recommended that the county commissioners
donate a suitable lot for a Methodist house of
worship, lot # 160 on the south side of Hillyer
Academy lot was deeded to the Trustees of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. It contained
^ acre, more or less. (See city map)
The deed was made by R. A. Forrester, J. F.
Johnson, T. J. Green, County Commissioners of
Lee County. It was made to T. M. Booker, D A.
Ragan, F. S. Hale, trustees of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South, and witnessed by W. T.
25
Avera, and James Morgan, Clerk of the Superior
Court.
However, the deed contained a reversion
clause, concerning the disposal of property.
This may or may not have been the cause for
making an exchange of deeds on June 2, 1891,
but the new deed did not contain this clause.
This transaction was done in the presence of
A. J. Powell and James Morgan, Clerk of the
Superior Court.
At last, the Methodists owned a building lot.
On this lot was built a frame building, 32* x
48', the first known building belonging to the
Leesburg church.
It would be interesting to know just where
the Leesburg Methodists worshipped during those
early years before the congregation grew strong
enough to build a permanent type strudture.
There followed several years of which very
little is known except the named appointments to
the charge...Then, something happened which
brought dramatic new life to the church. Another
piece of property was given to the church.
26
CHAPTER III
THE LEESBURG CHURCH AFTER RELOCATION
1894-1931
With a gift hy J. P. Calloway of the prop-
erty where the present church building stands,
the church began another chapter in its his-
tory.
A deed was made on October 19, 1894, in
consideration of one dollar, to D. A. Ragan,
F. S. Hale, H. D. Logan, T. M. Booker, and
S. J. Powell, trustees of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, South, of Leesburg.
The property was described as 3/4 of an
acre off the southeast corner of Town Lot
No. 30 in the Town of Leesburg, Georgia,
bounded on the east by Starksville Street,
with a frontage of 210 feet; and on the
south by Fourth Street, with a frontage of
157 1/2 feet.
The deed was signed in the presence of
J. P. Tison, Chas. W. Snow, and Frank T. King,
Clerk of the Court.
It is interesting and helpful to find the
name of Chas. W. Snow as a witness to the
deed. There was no Smithville charge from
1891 through 1895, and Leesburg was not re-
corded as being on the Bronwood charge. Rev.
Chas. W. Snow was the pastor of the Terrell
charge at that time; thus, it has been as-
sumed that the Terrell charge included Lees-
burg.
One of the difficult problems in charting
pastorates of the early church years is that
churches on charges were not listed in the
Annual Conference journals; so, unless other
substantiating evidence can be found, it can-
not be determined who the pastor of a certain
church was for a certain year.
27

The Leesburg Methodist Church, constructed in
1894 on property donated by J* P* Calloway*
28
Although there are no available records
giving information concerning the construction
of the church building on the Calloway lot, the
Georgia Historical Records Survey of 1942
states that a building was dedicated in 1894,
which is the same year the property was do-
nated to the church.
It was a frame building about 32 feet by
60 feet, including the entrance-way and bell
tower. The building faced the south on Fourth
Street. No Sunday School rooms were built
originally. Mrs. J. E. (Helen) Johnson states
that J. M. Johnson and "Boy" Pope, who owned
a sawmill at that time, sawed the lumber
which was used to build the church and they
helped construct it in their spare time.
Leesburg, in 1895.
In a pamphlet authorized and distributed
by the County Commissioners of that year, the
town of Leesburg is described as follows:
"In 1895 there were in Leesburg 10 stores,
a Post Office, Southern Express Office, Tele-
graph Office, and telephone connections with
the outside towns of Americus, Smithville and
Albany. There were five churches, three
white and two colored. The white churches are
Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian, and the
colored are Methodist and Baptist."
It also stated, "In 1895 the official organ
of Lee County was THE ENTERPRISE and printed
in Smithville. Booker and Company had a saw-
mill in the Leesburg District, and gristmills
were in all parts of the county...There was a
public cotton gin and a Merchant Mill in Lees-
burg... over 300 carloads of watermelons were
shipped from Leesburg the year before.
"There are thirty-three schools in this
29
county, twenty-three for colored children
and ten for whites. There are twelve white
teachers, seven males and five females; and
there are twenty-two colored teachers, seven
males and fifteen females. There were 1,695
pupils admitted during the year 189^."
Leslie and Leesburg Charge Formed.
At the First Quarterly Conference held in
Leslie on March 1896, a new charge was set
up. It was to he known as the Leslie-
Leesburg charge. There were six appointments
in the charge: Leslie, Mt. Zion, and Anthony
in Sumter County; and Leesburg, Adams, and
Wesley in Lee County. Leesburg and Adams were
the newly-added churches. The Presiding
Elder was J. B. McGehee, a former pastor of
Starksville. The pastor was Rev.. J. A. Thomas.
The total assessment for the charge that
year for support of the pastor and Presiding
Elder was $5^+5, of which Leesburg was to pay
$100. A Sunday School was reported in all
the churches except Wesley.
Old Church Property is Sold.
At the Third Quarterly Conference held in
Leesburg on September 12, 1896, a motion was
made and adopted authorizing the trustees of
the Leesburg Church to make a deed to the old
church property to the Board of Education of
Lee County.
On December 31, 1896, a deed was made by
H. D. Logan, D. A. Ragan, and T. M. Booker,
who were trustees of the church, to the Board
of Education for the sum of $150 for Lot
No. 160, containing 1/2 acre upon which the
church house of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South was located. Said house also was conveyed
in the deed. It was witnessed by S. J. Powell
30
(Top) A front view of the home of Mrs. Mary Lee.
(Bottom) A rear view of the same house. The
main body of this house was the old Methodist
church building. Note the pulpit area of the
old church building, at the rear of the house.
and P> P. Gill, N. P.
The property was used for a school for a
number of years afterward; then it was later
bought by R. A. Forrester, who remodeled, re-
painted, and made it into an attractive home.
It is now the home of Mrs. E. B. (Mary) Lee.
The present structure shows clearly part of
the original church design.
It should be noted here that during the
same year, 1896, the Central of Georgia com-
pleted building a depot. Also, a new Lee
County Prison was completed in December.
****
At the Fourth Quarterly Conference held on
Nov. 24, 1896, at Mt. Zion church, it was noted
that there were no Epworth Leagues on the
charge, just 4 Sunday Schools. Leesburg was
not listed as having a Sunday School, but
Sunday School Superintendent T. M. Booker was
elected.
The report further stated that the outlook
was good and they (the Sunday Schools) prom-
ised to run through the winter.
The final financial report for the year
1896 (for charge) was:
Estimated Claims
Paid
Pastor
P. E.
Bishop
Conf. Cl.
Foreign Miss.
Domestic Miss.
Church Ext.
Education
$465.00 $4l8.00
80.00 72.00
8.00 5-00
28.00 20.00
72.00 42.00
42.00 20.00
26.00 -0-
16.00 5.00
$737.00 $582.00
Bro. A. Robinson was appointed to see M.
Speer and get a fee simple title to the land
on which Anthony church stood. Approval was
given an application for help from Leesburg.
Just what help was needed is not mentioned.
32
Sunday School Superintendent.
In his report to the First Quarterly Con-
ference, held in Leesburg on March 13, 1897,
Rev. W. T. Stewart reported: ''We have had
Sunday Schools at Leslie, Mt. Zion, Adams, and
one in the countyall the past year, and have
recently organized one at Leesburg where there
is good prospect of success." T. M. Booker is
the first known church school superintendent
for the Leesburg Methodist Church.
At the following Quarterly Conference it is
recorded that the pastor, W. T. Stewart,was
not present, being confined to his bed with
"remittent fever". $17-70 collection was re-
ceived and sent to the pastor by the Presiding
Elder.
Smithville Charge Recreated.
The charge known as Leslie-Leesburg since
1896 was changed at the Annual Conference in
December 1898. by leaving off Anthony and add-
ing Smithville, and the charge thus changed
was then called Smithville. The Rev. W. C.
Wade was assigned to the charge.
At the First Quarterly Conference, held at
Smithville on February 11, 1899, a report was
made that the appointment at Wesley Chapel
had been discontinued. Smithville was com-
mended for having organized an Epworth League
and having an excellent Sunday School.
A Definition of Methodism.
In his report to the Third Quarterly Con-
ference , Rev. Wade gave the following report
which included a profound and idealistic def-
inition of Methodism:
"We have held protracted services at Lees-
burg, Smithville, Leslie, and Mt. Zion,
with a measure of success at each of these
33
points. We have fallen below our expec-
tation, but no reason to be discouraged
or lose faith in the flower of the Gos-
pel. Let our people know that Methodism
is 'Christianity in Earnest', and with
our doctrines, beliefs and lives, we
are bound to win the field."
Five additions were reported on baptism,
seven on certificate of transfer, eight by
profession, and seven-infant baptisms.
At the end of the year, J. H. Conway was
elected as Sunday School, Superintendent at
Leesburg. J. H. Conway and D. A. Ragan were
named as Stewards, and a parsonage committee
was appointed with members from each church,
including S. J. Powell from Leesburg. The
pastor's salary for the year was $598.81.
****
A progressive note should be made here,
that rural mail routes were established
throughout the county in 1904.
Deed for Parsonage in Smithville.
On September 26, 1906, the trustees of the
Smithville charge of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South, who were J. J. Wilson, G. W.
Warwick, L. R. Mathes, J. R. Cowart, and D. J.
Mims, were deeded a lot of land known as "The
McKenzie Lot" by the heirs-at-law of A. S.
Nunn. The lot was described as 1/2 acre on
Boulevard Street, and running back along Pine
Street eastward one acre to an alley.
Presbyterians Build New Church.
In 1906, the Presbyterian Church was re-
located. The new building was placed at the
corner of Starksville Road and Main Street.
Woman's Home Missionary Society.
The Rev. W. C. Glenn reported at the First
Quarterly Conference on February $3, 1910,
"We have one Woman's Home and Foreign Mission-
ary Society. The Home society had been re-
cently organized at Leesburg. We have orga-
nized a Juvenile Society at Leesburg." This
is the first mention found of a Woman's Mis-
sionary Society at Leesburg.
#***
Before Automobiles Became Popular.
During the pastorate of I. R. Kelly in
1915, it was reported that there were two
parsonages on the charge, with a total value
of $7000. No record explains this entry.
In 1916, the Grand Jury is said to have
hired an automobile to inspect the county
roads, probably to recommend improvements, get-
ting ready for increased motor traffic.
A further progressive note is that in 1917
the Alabama Power Company furnished 24-hour
electric service to the county.
A news item carried in the Lee County
Journal reported the death of D. A. Ragan,
"one of Lee County's oldest citizens, on
May 5, 1919" Mr. Ragan was one of the first
recorded stewards of the church, being listed
at the time of the acquisition of its first
building lot, and serving in many capacities
in the church during the years following.
World War I.
It was during the pastorate of Rev. Her-
bert Etheridge that the United States declared
war on Germany. That year the Leesburg church
was one of 5 churches that paid its pastor a
total of $687 The five church buildings were
valued at $4,000. It had one parsonage valued
35
at $1,000. Armistice was signed the following
year on November 11.
****
A note here on the allowable tenure for pas-
tors is interesting: In the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, South, the allowable tenure for
pastors was two years until 1866, and four
years until 1918, with no fixed limit after
the latter date.
In 1920, the five churches on the Smithville
charge are listed as Sumter, Smithville, Lees-
burg, Benevolence, and Adams. The pastor was
H. H. Heisler. His salary was $1,15^. This
is the first time the salary of the pastor of
the charge ever reached $1,000.
ITEMS FROM THE LEE COUNTY JOURNAL:
Jan. l6, 1920. "The Leesburg Methodist
Sunday School held a meeting Sunday for the
purpose of reorganizing. Mr. R. E. Howe was
elected Superintendent with Mr. J. W. Lyons
Assistant Superintendent. The Wesley Bible
Class was organized. Mrs. Clark was elected
teacher."
Jan. 16, 1920. "The Parsonage A.id Soci-
ety met at Mrs. R. E. Howe's last Monday. Mrs.
Howe, President."
Jan. 28, 1920. "The Epworth League meets
every Thursday evening at seven o'clock at the
Methodist Church."
Feb. 28, 1920. "A silver tea was given
by the Ladies Aid Society on Wednesday evening
at the Home of Mrs. R. E. Howe."
Oct. 8, 1920. "The Sunday School Conven-
tion was held at Leesburg Methodist Church
October 3. The Sunday School leaders of all
denominations in Lee County assembled at Lees-
burg Methodist Church on Sunday, October 3,
36
for the annual convention of the County School
Association, and a full program of inspira-
tional addresses and practical discussions of
Sunday School methods was carried out.
"Every department of the Sunday School was
presented, and a gratifying number of workers
was present. Among the speakers on the pro-
gram were: Mr. H. H. Hargrove, of the Leesburg
Baptist Sunday School, and Rev. H. H. Heisler,
pastor of the Smithville and Leesburg Metho-
dist churches.
"The thanks of the association were ex-
pressed for the hospitality of the Leesburg
people, and special appreciation was extended
to the committee of young ladies, consisting
of Miss Eddye Hooks, Miss Josephine Forrester,
Miss Iverlee Bass, and Miss Lucille Cannon,
who secured a large number of subscriptions for
the Georgia Sunday School Hews. The next
county convention will be held at the Hew Hope
Baptist Church.
"The president of the association, Mr. D. E.
Phillips, was gratified at the interest
shown in the convention, and many leaders pres-
ent predicted that next year Lee County would
be one of the Gold Star counties of the state
association."
***
According to the Georgia Historical Records
Survey of 19^2, the Hew Hope Baptist Church
named above was established in 1916, being
moved from Sumter County to about 12 miles
north of Leesburg. Another Baptist church es-
tablished in the county was the St. Paul Bap-
tist Church, RFD Smithville, organized in 1920.
Union Revival in Leesburg.
In April of 1921, during the pastorate of
E. W. Gray, the Rev. J. H. Stanford, a young
37
Methodist minister of Adel, preached at the
Baptist Church. Every service was reported
as being crowded with local people and those
from all-, sections of,the county. Forty-five
members were added to the three churches.
The following June, a Union Picnic was
held at Starksville. The people of Leesburg
enj oyed a picnic and barbecue given by the
Sunday Schools of the city, with plenty of
iced tea and lemonade.
Baptists Build Mew Brick Church.
The Lee County Journal of September 29,
1922, reported that the old wooden Baptist
Church building, erected 35 years before, was
torn down to build a new brick building. It
was constructed on the same site, but was
larger than the old one and was set back
about 20 feet further from the sidewalk.
****
The four churches that made up the Smith-
ville charge in 1926 were Smithville, Sasser,
Benevolence and Leesburg. C. R. McKibben was
pastor. On Page 44 of the Georgia Historical
Records Survey of 1942, the records show that
in 1926 there were 581 Southern Baptists,
37 Primitive Baptists, 240 Methodists, 43
members of the Church of Christ, and 33 Pres-
byterians in the county.
The Great Depression of the 1930's.
The great depression of the 1930's had al-
ready begun in 1929, during the pastorate of
I. K. Chambers. All the records during this
time show the stress and strain of depression
years upon the people of the charge.
The Quarterly Conference held at Smith-
ville on September 21, 1929, empowered a com-
38
mittee to sell the church building and a
half-acre lot at Adams Station and expend
the money for erecting a fence around the
cemetery, and if any was left it wds to be
applied to parsonage needs at Smithville.
John Shell, the Pastor.
The churches on the charge in 1930 were
Smithville, Leesburg and Sasser.
During the first year of the pastorate of
Rev. J. N. Shell, the Epworth Leagues at Lees-
burg and Smithville were reorganized, and a
good Woman's Missionary Society was reported at
Leesburg and Smithville.
At a called session of the Quarterly Con-
ference of the Smithville Charge, held at
Leesburg on March 15, 1931, the trustees were
authorized to mortgage the parsonage at Smith-
ville to secure sufficient funds to pay off
the indebtedness for repairs to same, or to
accept a conditional, donation from the Board
of Church Extensions not to exceed the sum of
$5^5.
On April 15, 1931, Rev. V. P. Folds, the
Sunday School Superintendent at Leesburg, re-
ported 41* on roll, with ^ teachers. The total
collection raised for the quarter was $12.70.
At the last Quarterly Conference held at
Smithville on October 15, 1931, the following
were elected as Stewards: W. E. Tarpley,
S. J. Powell, V. P. Folds, J. E. Johnson,
Henry Cannon, and J. B. Cannon.
W. E. Tarpley and S. J. Powell were ap-
pointed accountable to look into the matter
of selling the Wesley Chapel church building
in Lee County, with power to sell same.
39
The following letter from the Chairman of the
Lee County Commissioners apparently refers to
the church and cemetery mentioned on pages 38
and 39 under the heading, "The Great Depression
of the..1930s":
August 29, 197^
Mr. A. L. Dutton, Deputy Commissioner
Department of Corrections
Region ,-II
Post.Office Box 1075 :
Macon, Georgia 31202
Dear Sir:
There, is an old cemetery on my land, which I
would like to have a detail of inmates clean
up. This is the Adams Station Methodist Church
Cemetery, consisting of approximately one-half
acre, more or less, located four miles north
of the Lee Correctional Institution, on U. S.
Highway #19, approximately 100 yards off the
highway.
My father bought,fthe land on which the cemetery
lies from the Methodist Conference over fifty
years ago, and the cemetery has been abandoned
for many years. It is a very historical place,
some of the persons buried there having been
born in the 1700's.
If the inmates could clean off the cemetery,
then 1 could restore it and keep it mowed.
15 would appreciate very much your authoriza-
tion for this to be done.
Sincerely,
/s/ Jack Bell, Sr.
Chairman
CHAPTER IV
TwentyFive Years as the LeslieLeesburg Charge
Nov. 1931 - June 1956
With the formation of the Leslie-Leesburg
Charge (including the DeSoto Church), the
Leesburg church seems to have taken on new life.
The revitalization that seems to mark that
period, which covered a span of 25 years, shows
progress in almost every area of the church
life. The progress, though erratic, was some-
thing of a prelude to becoming a station
church in June of 1956.
The Leesburg Methodist Story has been lim-
ited in its coverage during the earlier years
because few records have been preserved in its
frequent charge changes. This can be under-
stood, but is was a surprise to find only
seven years of quarterly conference records on
file at Leslie during a period of stability in
charge line change. The LEE COUNTY JOURNAL
has been the major source of supplementary
material, during this time.
******
During the pastorate of C. L. Nease, which
was for only one year, several things of note
happened on the Charge:
To begin with, on February 20 at the first
Quarterly Conference, all the old Boards of
Trustees were declared vacant and new trustees
were named for each churchLeesburg, Leslie,
DeSoto (and Anthony Chapel property)as well
as separate parsonage trustees. The parsonage
trustees included S. L. Powell of Leesburg;
for the Leesburg church property, S. J. Powell,
W. E. Tarpley and H. D. Cannon were named.
Then followed an inspection of the parson-
age property, which showed that the porch was
in bad condition and the roof was in bad need
of repair. At the fourth Quarterly Conference
4l
triii >
S a. de "Vi ew o f the Leesburg Methodist Church,
Jnowin g the first S unday School Room addition,
ui. It aground. 1935 -
1+2

of that same year, authorization was given to
repair, rebuild, or sell the property and
purchase new property.
The Leesburg Sunday School Reports Growth.
An article in the LEE COUNTY JOURNAL on
March 8, 1935 read: "The Leesburg Methodist
Church will begin at once an attempt to raise
funds for the erection of Sunday School rooms
at the church. Because of a rapidly growing
school, classes are being held in cars." The
building of these rooms produced a great deal
of interest and was carried on until completed
in the following year.
Christian Culture Institute for Young People.
The week following the first Sunday in
August of 1935> 10 members from Leesburg at-
tended a Christian Culture Institute for young
people held at Dooly Camp Ground. A total of
83 young people from Leslie, Leesburg, Smith-
ville and Sycamore attended. Fifty-three re-
ceived credit. This was the first reference
to the Dooly Camp Ground found in the records
of this church. The Christian Culture Insti-
tute was repeated in at least two other years.
Miss Mary Dance Presents Pageant.
Miss Mary Dance, a member of the facility
of the Leesburg High School, wrote and directed
several plays and pageants for the church
while a teacher here. One of these pageants
was presented at the Methodist Church on Sunday
morning, April 5> 1935- It was a Japanese
pageant, consisting of about 20 children from
the Primary and Beginner's Departments of the
Sunday School. The acts portrayed scenes of
beautiful Japanese gardens. All players were
43
costumed in Japanese attire. The children
played Japanese games, sang Japanese songs,
and told Japanese stories.
New Songbooks for the Sunday School.
The young people were entertained with a
social at the home of Mrs. Robert R. Green on
November 15, 1935- The affair was to raise
funds for the purchase of new songbooks for
the Sunday School. It was reported that "a
neat financial sum was realized for the
League". Mr. James Randall and Miss Eugenia
Morgan were the prize winners. About 30
guests were present.
J. Alton Davis was appointed as pastor of
the charge in November of 1935*
A Barbecue Supper.
As a fund raising project, the Ladies
Missionary Society held a barbecue supper in
December of 1935, in the building next to what
was then the Turner Drug Store. It was re-
ported that by 8:00 o'clock in the evening, all
had been sold and more than $30.00 had been taken
in, to be applied on the new Sunday School
rooms. The pig for the barbecue was donated
by Mr. H. D. Cannon.
*****
The Christmas program of that same year was
presented by Miss Mary Dance. It was a pag-
eant involving 60 beautifully-costumed char-
acters along with a trained choir. Miss Etta
Jean Jones took the part of Mary and sang the
"Cradle Song".
kk
A Sunday School Report.
The Leesburg Sunday School made its report
to the Fourth Quarterly Conference on
October 30, 1935, showing: No. on roll, 121;
Teachers and officers, 12. The regular offer-
ing for the year had been $72.97, and the
amount sent to the Orphans' Home, $10.32.
J. N. Mitchell was Superintendent.
Also reported were 11 members of the W.M.S.
The total amount sent to the conference
treasurer during the year had been $22.81.
Mrs. J. E. Johnson was President.
The report of the Young People1s Depart-
ment showed the number on roll as 25* Miss
Sarah Kitchens was President.
A short time after Annual Conference in
November of 1936, a Training School was held
in Leesburg, which was reported as being a
success in every way. Twenty-three credits
were delivered at the regular preaching ser-
vice on the following Sunday. Brother G. D.
Mann taught the course on "The Education
Work in the Small Church".
Miss Elsie Nesbitt of the Leesburg
Church was consecrated a Deaconess, and served
for seven years with the Board of Missions in
San Antonio, Texas, from 1935-1942.
On July 17, 1936, the LEE COUNTY JOURNAL
reported that the three new Sunday School
rooms annexed to the Methodist Church, were
nearing completion. It further stated that
for several months the members had worked hard
to raise funds for the new rooms; also, that
many contributions had been made by people out-
side the church.
Authorization Given to Sell Wesley Chapel
Property.
Authority was given the trustees to execute
45
a deed for Wesley Chapel Church property hy
the Third Quarterly Conference, held on
August 19, 1936, to parties purchasing the
property which was located in the Chokee
District of.;Lee County. Wesley Chapel was
alocated abou - three miles ..northwest of where
H. H. Cook, Sr. now lives, at the crossroads.
Mrs. B.- L. Snider remembers attending ser-
vices at this, old church location.
A Fish Fry at Grave Springs.
On March 27,H.936, the Young People of the
Methodist Church entertained with a fish fry
at Graves Springs, in honor of the basket-
ball team which had recently won the Union
Tournament. Young people from neighboring
churches were also guests. About 55 young
people enjoyed the affair.
A Community-Wide Rally to Baise Money.
An article in the May 22, 1936 copy of the
LEE COUNTY JOURNAL reads as follows: "A
community-wide rally will be held at the Lees-
burg Methodist Church May 31 to raise cash
for Sunday School rooms, the program to begin
at 10:00 o'clock Sunday morning. The program
includes: DeWitt Shippey, C. T. Clark, C. S.
Pryor, Mrs. Chambers, Col. E. L. Forrester
and Ralph Crosby. An offering will be taken
consisting of a penny for each year of the
individual's age. A basket.lunch and barbe-
cue will be servied."
Sunday School Class Holds Social.
The following article was in the Nov. 20,
1936 LEE COUNTY JOURNAL: "The Coed Class of
the Leesburg Church School met at the home of
U6
Miss Bertha Cannon, Thursday night at 7:30
o'clock. The purpose of the meeting was to
reorganize and elect officers.
"Miss Cannon was elected teacher, due to
the resignation of Mrs. C. H. Johns, who has
recently moved to Birmingham, Ala.
"The class decided to have their meeting
the fourth Thursday in each month at the
homes of various members of the class. They
chose as their motto: 'Not for Ourselves,
but for Others.'
"The following officers were elected:
President, Miss Agnes Hines; Vice-President,
Dan Bass; Secretary, Sara Kitchens; Treasur-
er, James Cannon; Corresponding Secretary,
Pauline Melvin.
"The class is working on their new church
school room, getting the walls painted, chairs
covered, and new curtains made. A move was
made to raise money to bear expenses, but no
definite plan has been decided on.
"The home of Miss Cannon was beautifully
decorated with cut flowers, and after the
business session, a delightful social hour was
enjoyed, during which time delicious refresh-
ments were served.
"The next meeting will be held December 2k
at the home of Brownie and Neva Green."
A Beautiful Report.
At the last Quarterly Conference of 1936,
the pastor, Rev. J. A. Davis, gave this report
"A total of additions for the charge for
the year is 6l32 on profession of faith,
and 29 by certificate.
"The fabric of achievement, woven by the
charge has been taken from the year's loom,
its candent length of high purpose and conse-
cration folded. Today we present it to the
Master. We know that in our lack of skill we
have knotted hopelessly some threads, and
others haye.been tangled. Much of the beauty
of the design has been marred by things we
intended to, do, sacrifices unmade, members un-
cultivated, spiritual heights unattained and
kept. 'Tis true we have, tried to follow the
pattern.set for us, and if the Master Weaver
finds interwoven some scarlet threads of sacri-
fices, blue strands of courage, and numbers _
of shining.silver lines of faith running
through the design, we pray He will take it
all and make it flawless and beautiful in His
sight.".
Bishop Ainsworth Sees Christmas Pageant.
Duringlfthe Christmas season of 1936, the
Young People's Division presented a pageant,
"The Meaning of Christmas", at the church.
Young people from Sumter and Terrell Counties
were present. Bishop W. N. Ainsworth, the
Presiding Elder, J. H. Wilson, and Mr. Clary
were present.
A Young W.M.S. Organized.
On May 19, 193JCf, Mrs. J. E. Johnson, presi-
ddfit of'jshe W.M.S., reported the organization
of a Young W.M.S. , with 10 members.
Authorization to Sell Old Starksville Property.
During the first year of the pastorate of
Rev. E. P. Drake, the Quarterly Conference on
August 2k, 1938, authorized the Trustees of
Leesburg: K. D. Cannon, W. E. Tarpley, S. J.
Powell, to be enabled to sell the old Method-
ist Church lot at Starksville for $25 and ap-
ply the money to repairs on the Leesburg Church.
Wo record has been found at the courthouse
which shows that this authorization was ever
carried out. It would be interesting to know
1+8
just where this lot stood, and if it were
ever really sold.
Mew Furnishing for Leesburg Church.
It was noted in the last Quarterly Conference
held on October 21, 1938, that the Leesburg
Church had purchased new pews and a pulpit
suite and had made considerable improvements
on rearranging the interior of the church.
A Church Reunited.
On the evening of May 10, 1939, the Uniting
Conference composed of 900 delegates400
from the Methodist Episcopal Church, 400 from
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and
100 from the Methodist Protestant Church
voted without a dissenting vote for unifica-
tion. The church which was divided over the
slavery question in 1844 was reunited. The
Uniting Conference was presided over by Bishop
John M. Moore. The declaration of union was
adopted, and the new church was called THE
METHODIST CHURCH. (See page 7 for details
of the division.)
The first session of the South Georgia An-
nual Conference of the new METHODIST CHURCH
was held at Macon, Ga., No. 8-12, 1939. Our
first pastoral assignment after unification
was Rev. J. I. Summerford, for the year 1940.
Rev. J. I. Summerford was pastor of the
charge for three years. During this time,
the city of Leesburg was shocked at the burn-
ing of the Baptist Church in March, 1941. The
church was rebuilt the following year, accord-
ing to an article in the LEE COUNTY JOURNAL,
November 6, 1942, by Tom Love.
It was in December of 1941 that the world
was shaken by the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, and the United.States entered World
War II, a war which lasted until 1945.
49
50
A view of the Leesburg Methodist Church showing the brick
Educational Annex, dedicated May 28, 1950.
In 19U1, there were 4oU active members and
159 non-resident members reported on the
Leslie-Leesburg charge. The pastor's salary
for 19^1 was $1500 for the charge.
*****
Memorials.
During 19**2 a Baptismal Cup was given the
church in memory of Lester B.-Coxwell, Jr.,
by Mr. and Mrs. Lester R. Coxwell, Sr. and
family.
In 19**5> Chimes were installed at the
church and given in memory of Mr. and Mrs.
J. M. Cannon by H. D. Cannon, C. A. Cannon,
J. B. Cannon, and W. E. Cannon.
*****
The South Georgia Annual Conference Meets in
June.
On June 25-29 19** 7, the South Georgia An-
nual Conference met at the First Methodist
Church in Brunswick. Previous to this time,
the Annual Conference met in December or
November. It continues to meet in June until
this writing.
New Educational Building Dedicated.
Little is known of the activities of the
church for the period between 19**7 and 1953.
No details are available concerning the plan-
ning or building of the first brick annex to
the church. All that is available is a copy
of the dedication service held on May 28,
1950. The pastor was Rev. A. A. Waite, Sr.
The address was delivered by Bishop Arthur J.
Moore. It was presented for Dedication by
Mr. Henry D. Cannon.
51
It was about 36 x 60 feet in size. The main
body of the annex was about 36 x 60 feet, in-
cluding a socialyhall and six classrooms*,; In
addition to this, there was added aikitchen
and two restrooms;
The Church Acquires Adjoining Property.
On May l4, 1952, the Cannon Bros. Peanut
Company, Inc. deeded W. E. Tarpley, E. A.
Crotwell, and H. H. Cook, Trustees of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, one and a half
acres of land adjoining their previously
owned property, for $1. The size of the lot
was 255*^- feet x 261.6 feet. The deed was
witnessed by E:< A. Crotwell, K.. P., State at
Large, and Susie Lee Green, K. P.,. State at
Large. i'The deed was signed by J. B. Cannon,
W. E. Cannon, and C. A. Cannon. It was re-
corded by R. R. Green, Clerk of Superior
Court.
Circuit of the Year.
Each year the Town and Country Commission
of the South Georgia Conference gives special
recognition to a circuit in each District,
for outstanding work. While Rev. I. M.
McDuffie was pastor, the Leslie-Leesburg-
DeSoto circuit was selected as Circuit of the
Year of the Americus District, for 1953.
The citation for the charge is quoted in
part, from MEET THE CIRCUITS for 1953:
"LESLIE-LEESBURG-DeSOTO, The Americus
District, I. M. McDuffie, Pastor.
"No short resume can do credit to the work
of the Leslie-Leesburg-DeSoto Charge. Located
in a triangular section of Southwest Georgia,
where the farmland is of the best quality, be-
tween three rapidly growing cities, this
charge is one of the best charges in the
52
South Georgia Conference because we think we
have the evidence to back up such a statement",
the pastor said.
"The charge has responded to the opportuni-
ty in the direction of expanded activities in
every area of civic, social, and religious
life.
"The budget for next year will include ad-
vances along all lines. The pastor's salary,
$2400 in 1950, has been increased to $3000 for
the new year. This year, $950 has been given
for the World Service program of Methodism, and
$410 was given in March for the Expansion Day
program of the Conference. Last year's ex-
penditures totalled $10,323, but will be ex-
ceeded by a large margin this year.........
"in Lee County, nine miles from the thriv-
ing metropolis of Albany, the Leesburg Church
has been making unusual strides.
"Many years of struggle and trial followed
the establishment of the Leslie-Leesburg
Charge. Leesburg has had a particularly diffi-
cult time, but the faithfulness of the
people has inspired pastor after pastor.
Three months before the present pastor ar-
rived, Mr. Henry Cannon, long the mainstay of
the church and community, passed away. Al-
though the people struggled to maintain
their church and meet their obligations, an
attitude of uncertainty and defeat prevailed.
"In spite of this, plans were made to re-
model the sanctuary and to add new church
school space. It was discovered that the con-
gregation was going in the red about $75 ev-
ery quarter on their regular budget, but
they struggled to raise $5,000 for the Build-
ing Fund that first year.
"To meet the crisis of the regular budget,
the pastor presented a plan to the Official
Board. When the treasurer painted the finan-
53
cial picture in red hues, and the official
members were disturbed about their future
obligations, the pastor explained the Every
Member Canvass to them. Dubiously, they ac-
cepted it. Three months were spent in prep-
aration. Sermons by the pastor, talks by
laymen,.betters to every member of the congre-
gation explaining the situation, and the
stage was set. At a special Sunday in Sep-
tember of 192j, pledges were brought to the
altar. A total- of sixty were turned in, and
they totaled between $70 and $80 per week.
"These pledges amounted to $3000 more than
the budget. Exuberant officials voted to
direct $1500 of thisJinto the Building Fund.
Now, the church was out of debt, had a sur-
plus in the operating treasury, approximate-
ly $9000 in the Building Fund, and a people
whose pride was exceeded only by their love
and devotion to the. church. Plans were to
build next year the most modern and conven-
ient small town church in the Conference.
"A Workers Training School was held at
Leesburg this year with the pastor serving as
Dean. Instructors for the school were: Rev.
Roy Bond, Rev. L. C. Fullerton, Rev. Reese
Griffin, Sr., and Miss Ann Marie Domingoes.
Supper was served at the church for the in-
structors and students each night. Sometime
ago the Church School purchased a movie pro-
jector for about $500, and two films were
shown during the school. One-third of the
active membership enrolled, and twenty-five
received certificates.
"This church was already in a revival mood
before the United Evangelistic Mission began.
Twenty-five prayer meetings were held during
the week preceding the Mission, with Luther
Vest serving as leader. The meeting began
with a full house, and the preaching of the
guest minister, the Rev. E. R. Smith, Jr. of
54
Fredericksburg, Indiana, kept attendance at a
peak. Six teams of visitors received their
assignments from Thad Gibson each night, and
called upon the people in the community.
"The Woman's Society of Christian Service
is doing an effective job in witnessing to
the community. Three young women have gone
from the Methodist Youth Fellowship to study
nursing. In training at the Crawford W. Long
Hospital at Atlanta and the Macon Hospital
at Macon, these young women plan to serve the
Kingdom of God somewhere in the world as
nurses. Officials of this church encourage
the young people by giving them the Sunday
night offering, too. They have already sent
$96 for the MYF Fund. There is a great fu-
ture for this church and the young people
will play a significant part in its develop-
ment ."
*******
In June of 1953, Rev. Emory C. Gilbert
was appointed as pastor of the charge.
The Woman's Society of Christian Service,
on August 31, 1953, reported that during the
quarter preceding, a World Friendship Group
of Girls had been organized for the first
time. They had given $45 on a rug for the
parsonage and had.built tables for the church
grounds.
A Parcel Post Sale.
On December 8, 1953, the WSCS held a ba-
zaar at the Leesburg Methodist Church as a
money-making affair. One feature of the ba-
zaar was a "Parcel Post Booth". Cards had
been mailed to many people, making an appeal
for them to mail the WSCS a package which
55
would be sold at the bazaar for a quarter.
Among those to whom a card was mailed was Mrs.
Mamie Eisenhower, the First Lady of the
United States of America. She responded with
a package, which everyone wanted to buy. It
was decided to sell the package to the high-
est bidder, thus affording fun and increasing
the proceeds as well. Mr. W. E. Cannon was
the lucky buyer, and the package contained
a beautiful engraving of the White House,
with the following message: "Dear Mrs.
Cannon: To assist you in your current project,
Mrs. Eisenhower is happy to send the inclosed
engraving of the White House. The First
Lady sends you her best wishes for success
in your worthwhile work. Mary Jane McCaffree,
Secretary to Mrs. Eisenhower."
XXXXX
Among the things reported in 195** was a
Junior Choir having been organized under the
leadership of Mrs. W. E. Cannon. They had
charge of the music for the evening worship
services.
Also, an Altar Set, consisting of the
Cross, Candlesticks, and Vases, was given in
memory of Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Crotwell by
their children.
The WSCS reported on February 28, 19555
that they had had a Bazaar and Barbecue, and
had given a check for $351.10 on carpet for
the church.
56
"The Old Shi-p of Zion".
Around 1954 or 1955> the Bessie Green Circle
of the WSCS, under the leadership of Mrs. L. E.
Vest, sponsored a play entitled "The Old Ship
of' Zion". Qn the play committee were: Mrs.
Max Hardy, coach; Mrs. James Cannon, staging;
Mrs. Thad Gibson, advertising; Mrs. J.M. Hines,
music chairman; Pat Dunaway, soloist; J. T.
Groover and.D. G. Houston.
As the title indicates, the play was about a
ship which was bound for the Promised Land.
It stopped at various ports here on Earth to
gather passengers, but often those desiring
passage were not properly prepared to take the
celestial journey. The potential passengers
were advised what they must do to qualify and
told that if they met the requirements they
would be picked up on the next trip.
A large cast of approximately 6k people from
all over the community took part in the play.
******
The Church Has Face-Lifting and Extensive
Remodeling.
On May 3, 1955, a statement in the Quarter-
ly Conference report is included which says:
"Our Annex completed this year and equipped."
It was signed by Z. T. Pate, Church School
Superintendent, and John T. Groover, Chairman
of the Commission on Education.
In a letter addressed to Earle J. Garbutt,
the District Superintendent, on April 19, 1955
Rev. Emory C. Gilbert reported the following:
57
(Top) Remodeling of building. Brick veneering
and changed entrance.
(Bottom) Completed work, same view.
58
59
A view of the Leesburg Methodist Church after remodeling
in 1954, showing the new entrance on the Starksville Street side.
"In Leesburg,
Completion of building--------$17,286.36
Air Conditioning------------- 1,400.00
Chairs for Sunday School----- 96.00
Work & material for lawn-----------70.00
$18,852.36
"Leesburg is looking forward to going Sta-
tion flomemme in the near future. This
willbeldone after a parsonag^. Is built."
On October 3, 1955, the Chairman of the
Commissionlon Education reported the purchase
of tack boards and black boards for the
Children's Department.
On December. 31. .in the WSCS report, it was
stated; that the World Friendship Group gave a
ChristmaslCantata. Having completed payment
on sanctuary carpet, altar cushions, and
choir railingJpthey paid out a total of
$1592.34 in 15. months. Homemade candy was
given to prisoners at the county jail and the
state work camp for Christmas, in cooperation
with the Baptist and Presbyterian Churches.
In the Wesleyan Christian Advocate.
"The Leesburg Methodist Church building,
which has been undergoing a face-lifting and
extensive remodeling for the past several
months, is completed. The building has a new
steeple, new entrance, and has been brick-
veneered outside. On the inside, the ceilings
and walls have been painted, the choir
changed, the altar has been rearranged, and
other work that will improve both the appear-
ance and usefulness of the building has been
accomplished. The sanctuary is air-conditioned
a new wing of three classrooms with storage
closets downstairs,and two classrooms with
60
two storage rooms upstairs was added. The
building committee consisted of E. A. Crot-
well, Raymond Cannon, and J. E. Johnson. 1
The Trustees' Report in June51955 gave
the estimated value of the church property as:
Church building------$ 52,000
Furnishing & Equip.- 8,000
Other Real Estate:
1 1/2 acres land- 1,500
$ 61,500
E. A. Crotwell, secretary of the Board of
Trustees, also reported balance due on debts
for the church improvement as being 4 notes
of $100 each.
******
During that same year, the Altar Rail was
given in memory of H. D. Cannon by his sons,
Malcolm, James, Raymond, and Otis Cannon.
Portrait of Smiling Christ Given WSCS.
The Albany Herald of November 28, 1955, con-
tained an article concerning the gift of an
original painting showing Christ's reassuring
smile, which was made to the Women's Society
of Christian Service of the Leesburg Method-
ist Church by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Forrester.
Mr. Forrester was the' Director of the State
Board of Corrections.
"The presentation was made by Mrs. Forrest-
er and accepted by Mrs. Max Hardy, president
of the WSCS. The beautiful carved frame for
this inspiring portrait was given to the
organization by Mrs. W. 0. Pierce of Chamblee.
Mrs. Pierce is remembered in Leesburg as Miss
Mary Lelia Forrester, affectionately known as
'Maedee'.'
61
The picture of Christ was painted by an
artist who, while serving a life term in pris-
on, saw the face of Christ in a dream, not as
a sad, somber Christ, but a smiling Christ.
The artist signed the painting, "Old Timer",
writing, "May He smile his blessings on all of
you."
62
CHAPTER V
LEESBURG, A STATION CHURCH
Since June 1956
INTRODUCTION
No doubt much worthwhile information is not
written into this history, and names of many
important and dedicated contributors to our
Methodist Church in Leesburg are not recorded
here. For this I apologize and beg your for-
giveness. I can only say that I have tried
to do my best with the records which were
available and in the very short length of
time I had. If I have gone more into detail
with events of the last few years, it is not
to detract from prior events. It is simply
because I found more information about this
period.
I would like to give special recognition here
to the youth of our church. Although the
number attending MYF has not been as high as
we would like, those who have attended MYF and
the church school are to be commended for
their faithfulness and hard work. They have
contributed no small amount to the discharge
of financial obligations of the church, as
well as performing many kind and charitable
deeds for the elderly, shut-ins, underprivi-
leged, etc. May God bless them.
Rebecca V. Gibson
63
The followings'lines were^excerpted from Thef
Albany Herald, which someone has dated
February 18, 1956.-
"A fellowship supper was given Sunday night
by the Leesburg Methodist Sunday School...
honoring the Z. T. Pate .family. The Pates
aretteaving Leesburg this week to make
their home in Marianna, Florida.
"Following the., supper, the Rev. E. C.
Gilbert*,'presented the family a handsome
silver tray on behalf, of the Sunday School,
and the!Commission on Education gave Mr.
Pate a gold key. chain as a token of recog-
nition of his work.
"Mr. Pate csu%,to Leesburg approximately
20 years ago gas manager ..of; tMe Suwannee
Store....He, married the former Miss Max-
ine Kearse, daughter of G. C. Kearse of
this city......
"Mr. Pate became superintendent of the
Methodist Sunday School in 1938 and held
this- office until his resignation last
week. He has been active in all branches
of church work. Mrs. Pate was president
of the Ladies1 Bible. Class, until her re-
cent resignation; she.is also a past
president of the WSCS........"
64
A newspaper clipping on which someone has hand
written "May 1956", reads as follows:
"In recognition of faithful service in the
Leesburg WSCS, Miss Bertha Cannon was hon-
ored with a Life Membership and pin which
was presented by Mrs. T. 0. Marshall, Sr.
at Americus District conference in Monte-
zuma. Miss Cannon has served as assistant
church school teacher, pianist and super-
intendent of Youth Department, and as
South Georgia Conference Caravan counselor.
In the society, she has been circle
leader, secretary of Youth work, and now
secretary of Spiritual Life."
Miss Cannon states she was Youth Counselor
from 1946 to 1948, along with Miss Susie Lee
Green, and that the average attendance at
Epworth League at that time was around 25.
She states she began her work with the youth
in 1938.
In recognition of the service rendered the
church and its youth by Miss Susie Lee Green,
there was a "Susie Lee Green Day" in her honor
The date of this is not known.
65
!25i
Whereas for the twenty-five years prior to 1956,
the Methodist Church in Leesburg had been a
part of the Leslie-Leesburg Charge (sharing her
pastor with Leslie and DeSoto), in June 1956 she
became a station church with a pastor all her
own.
A building committee and finance committee com-
posed of E. A. Crotwell, J. E. Johnson, Ray-
mond Cannon, Mr. and Mrs. Max Hardy, W. E. Can-
non, J. R. Green, L. E. Vest and the Rev. Carl-
ton Reid immediately made plans for the con-
struction of a parsonage.
In his report to the quarterly conference in
August 1956, the pastor stated: "This First
Quarterly Conference marks a historical stride
at the Leesburg Methodist Church. None of us
have felt sufficient for the task of serving a
full-time church, but God has led us thus far,
and He shall lead us in the days to come. After
the groundbreaking today, we will go right along
with the building of the parsonage."
The responsibility of paying the entire salary
of the pastor rather than a pro rata share,
coupled with the cost of building a house in
which he and his family could live, was an
enormous challenge.
This same year a third circle of the Women's
Society of Christian Service was formed and was
named the "Helen Johnson Circle". It met at
night and was for those who had been unable to
attend the afternoon circle meetings.
To help meet the new financial obligations of
the church, the ladies of the WSCS began serv-
66
(Top) Apartment where pastor lived while new
parsonage was being built.
(Bottom) Parsonage, completed in 1957
67
ing suppers to the Lions Club, selling vanilla
extract, paring knives, picture plates of the
church, aprons. They had a hazaar and "white
elephant" sale, a pancake supper. O^her fund-
raising methods were: barbecues, a pair of
coveralls requiring money to patch, a musical
variety show.
Meanwhile, plans had been decided on, Z. T.
Phillips was engaged to do the work, and the
parsonage was underway. In the interim, the
Reids were living in a duplex apartment rented
by the church.
1957
Sometime in the summer of 1957, Open House was
held at the new parsonage.
Although the construction was now complete,
the parsonage was not clear of debt. An anony-
mous donor gave .the church a thousand dollars
to apply on the indebtedness, with the stipula-
tion that it was to be used to pay off the last
thousand... The Youth Department needed a piano
and songbooks, and these were purchased; maint-
enance and repair billLs were a constant expense
so the money-raising efforts could not be re-
laxed.
1958
Mrs.E. H. Williams, Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. Will-
iams, Jr. donated the fern tables in the sanctu
ary in memory of E. H. Williams, Sr. who was
called by death in 1958.
1959
Carlton F. Reid was returned to Leesburg in
June 1959 to begin his fourth year as pastor.
68
The MYF began conducting the Sunday evening
worship services.
In the October 4 Board of Stewards meeting,
Brother Reid requested permission to ask Bishop
Arthur Moore to come in May i960 to dedicate
the church and parsonage. Heyward Cook moved
that "we set our goal to pay off the debt on
the church by Dedication Sunday".
1960
This was not to be, however. Bishop Moore's
schedule would not permit his coming in May;
also, the Report of Trustees dated May 22 shows
a $1500 mortgage remaining on the parsonage.
And so the dedication was postponed.
The Reverend Alton C. Prickette was welcomed as
pastor in June i960. His wife, Faye, served as
church pianist, and also taught piano.
Mrs. W. Y. Faircloth, Sunday School teacher in
the children's department, did much to instill
in her students and others a reverence for the
Lord and the Lord's House, always advocating
family altars and Bible reading in the home.
She felt that candle-lighting in the sanctuary
would "help our people to be quiet and have a
period of preparation to worship".
1961
World Day of Prayer was held in the Methodist
Church, with the Baptists and Presbyterians in
attendance. "We hope to eventually have at
least one union service on Sunday night with
other churches in town", said Mrs. Opal Cannon,
WSCS president. This hope has since become a
realityon each fifth Sunday of the month,
the three denominations have a joint worship
69
service.
At the April meeting of the Board of Stewards,
J. R. Green announced that the parsonage was
paid for in full. For some reason or another,
however, the dedication service was not held
until July 1962. In the meantime, Bishop Moore
had retired and John Owen Smith was Bishop.
Mary and Luther Vest moved back to DeFuniak
Springs, Florida in 1961. It was Mary who wrote
this poem which appears on the cover of the
church bulletin:
IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD
Be still, be still, Almighty God is here;
With reverence come into this holy place.
Adore God now, and worship Him, and praise
And thank Him for His constant love and grace.
jjorget the outside world, and bow your heads
And pray. Perceive the Spirit guiding you
And urging you to be a shining light.
Oh, listen! Hear Him speaking clear and true.
Be still, be still, Almighty God is here;
With reverence come and you will find Him near.
1962
Work was begun on an air conditioning/heating
system for the church early in 1962, and Otis
Hill, Chairman of the Finance Commission, wrote
to the D:strict Superintendent requesting per-
mission to mortgage the parsonage for $7280 to
pay for this.
As mentioned previously, Bishop Smith dedicated
70
the church and parsonage in July 1962.
1963
The Methodist Men's Club was organized early in
-the year, and was chartered in June. President
Malcolm Cannon said, "It is the prayer of this
club to help in every way possible to make this
church and community more Christ-like."
Under the leadership and untiring efforts of
Mrs. Opal Cannon, clay tennis courts were built
on the lot west of the church building. Patch
Nursery charged only their labor and equipment
cost to prepare the courts; D. G. Houston and
his FFA boys donated their time and labor; one
net and the chicken wire for backstop were do-
nated, and the rest was bought at wholesale.
The MYF sold copies of "Women of the Bible" to
earn money. They started having supper one
Sunday a month for their families. They bought
a popcorn popper for Sowega Youth Home.
The Baptists and Presbyterians joined the Meth-
odists in presenting a community Christmas can-
tata at the Methodist Church; then on De-
cember 22, the annual "Christmas Tree for
Christ" was held, with members pinning their
contributions for the Building Fund on the
branches.
On December 2b, the Thad Gibson family had a
near fatal accident while on their way to spend
Christmas with Mary and Luther Vest. Coming so
soon after the assassination of President John
F. Kennedy, this had a palling effect on the com-
munity's Christmas celebration. The wonderful-
hess of Leesburg people was never more evident
than at this time.
71
196*i
On January 26, the "God and Country Award" pro-
gram was instituted for MYF'ers and the Boy
Scouts. *
"Christ on the Cross" by Salvador Dali was given
in memory of John R. Green by the Methodist
sMen's Club.
There was an Every Member Canvass, and the
church budget was explained in every home, in
an effort to increase members' participation in
the financial obligations of the church.
The Methodist Men purchased a plaque for honor-
ing deceased members.
Homecoming Day was October 18, the Reverend
Emory Gilbert preaching.
Thanksgiving Sunday, members brought canned
goods, produce, money to be taken to the
Methodist Home in Macon.
1965
The outdoor bulletin board, paved walk and curb-
ing, and a donation on the storage rooms for
the parsonage were given in memory of Mr. and
Mrs. H. S. Cook, John M. Cook, Claud S. Cook,
Ada Lee Crews and Lois C. Brown by Mrs. Parker
Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Barnett Johnson, Mr. and
Mrs. Orr Cook, Mr. and Mrs. D. L. Holland, Mr.
and Mrs. Harry Crews, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Cook,
Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Hoke Cannon.
19 66
The Methodist Men's Club built storage rooms
72
* See Appendix, page 104
for the parsonage, sponsored the Cub Scouts.
In his Pastor's Report to Conference in May,
Charlie Webster listed the following needs of
the church:
1. Increased witnessing in all areas.
2. Better attendance at worship services.
3. Strengthening of the Commissions, WSCS,
Men1s Club, MYF, Choir, Prayer Meetings,
"Every Member Visitation" program.
4. Volunteer workers in all areas which are
vital to our church.
5. A church secretary.
6. Prayer for the church and its work; your
service, gifts and presence.
7. Better attendance at Official Board meet-
ings.
8. More Church School space.
9. New Methodist Hymnals.
10. A better pastor to help fulfill these needs
of our church.
Apparently Brother Webster got some response
to his list of needs, because new hymnals were
donated a few months later. As for the 10th
need itemized-, it is believed he was the only
one who thought the church needed a better
pastor.
A Book of Remembrance was given in memory of
Mrs. W. E. Tarpley who had gone to her reward
on September 18, 1964. This is used to list
memorials.
Bill Cannon, MYF president, reported: "We
have printed a newspaper to get young people
interested in the MYF and to inform them on
church matters. We have an hour of recreation
73
and fellowship after church each Sunday night
to get young people to stay for church. We
light candles Sunday mornings and evenings to
give the youth a part in the church." Also,
they donated $25 for carpeting; carried cookies
to Magnolia Manor.
In .December, the "Hanging of the Green" and fam-
ily night program was held; and on December 18,
"The Wonder of the Ages".
Another happening in 1966 was the formation of
the Alpha Baptist Church. Its first pastor, the
Reverend J. W. Jenkins, advised that a need had
been felt for an additional Baptist Church, and
so with a handful of people this new church was
organized.
1967
On January 1, Brother Webster accepted a reap-
pointment, moving to a church in Dublin. He
was replaced by the Reverend Joe Kelley who was
attending Georgia Southwestern College. The
"Venture in Faith" revival was held while he
was pastor. Also, Brother Kelley added a ser-
monette for the children at the morning worship
service, with the children gathering around the
altar to hear him.
In June, the Reverend J. B. Jensen was appoint-
ed as pastor.
There was a homecoming on October 15, with
Brother Webster preaching.
The youth gave a Christmas program, "Simon,
the Stablehand", supervised by Mrs. Opal Cannon.
74
1968
Miss Frances Keadle, summer worker and student
at Albany Junior College, was welcomed in June
to work with the children and youth. She re-
portedly brought new life into this segment of
the church with day camps and other additional
sessions. Miss Bertha Cannon furnished break-
fast and lodging to Frances, and other church
members furnished the rest of her meals.
Also in June of this year, the Methodist Church
combined with the Evangelical United Brethren,
and became the United Methodist Church.
A new Baldwin piano was purchased for the sanc-
tuary in September.
In December, the Pace Setters Class was formed
for the young married group, using the "Founda-
tion Series" lessons, which were a discussion
type.
The UMYF put on a Christmas play, "The Living
Promise".
December 29 was Student Recognition Day, and
Cathy Cannon, Frank David Hinds, Dave Thrift,
and Jimmy Rhodes had charge of the morning
worship.
1969
Jim Jensen, in his Pastor's Report to Quarterly
Conference in January, stated that a membership
talent sheet had been distributed to members
in an effort to involve more people in the work
of the church. Regarding the present state of
the church, he said: "Many are happy with the
way things are; some are concerned that we are
75
not doing what we could; a few are willing to
get out and dig. Our opportunities are there."
Mrs. Hoke Cannon and family placed a Memorial
Desk in the narthex in memory of Hoke Cannon.
Mr. and Mrs. Elbert Williams, Jr. presented
brass offering plates in memory of Elbert's
mother.
The church purchased a desk to be placed in
the narthex, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. W. Y.
Faircloth who were moving away.
The Reverend Allen M. Booker became pastor in
June. He reported in October that "much good
has been done; each person has his or her con-
tribution to make, however great or small".
Jimmy Rhodes and Cathy Cannon were the summer
workers with the young people in 1969. Weekly
discussion groups were held, and day camps.
The youth spearheaded the drive to clean the
Memorial Park downtown.
The church purchased the components of a Pub-
lic Address system for the sanctuary, which
Frank Godwin built and installed. At some later
date, two additional speakers were purchased,
and Frank installed them in the Nursery and in
the classroom across the hall from the sanctuary.
1970
Homecoming was on October 25, with former pas-
tor, Emory Gilbert, preaching the sermon. There
was a musical program afterwards, with James
Randall from Albany leading the singing.
76
On February 11, 1968, the Kinchafoonee Bap-
tist Mission had been formed, and for a
length of time was sponsored by the First
Baptist Church of Leesburg. The Reverend
Dallas Bell was their first pastor, and they
met at the camp of the Mallory Baptist Associ-
ation.
On August 22, 1969 Katherine S. Crouch,
Emily Jean Haley, and William Thomas Haley
deeded approximately six acres of land to
H. G. Hall, Jasper Griffith and Claude Tison
as Trustees of the First Baptist Church of
Leesburg; then on December 8, 1969, these
trustees deeded the property to Mack
Eubanks, Horace Jackson, Brad Berisford and
Talmadge Cherry as Trustees for the Kincha-
foonee Baptist Church. Thus the land do-
nated was used as the site of a church
which was completed and moved into on Jan-
uary 8, 1971-
77

1971
In June, Brother Booker was transferred, and the
Reverend Curtis C. Roberts became pastor.
With the help of Christy Williams and Bill
Cannon, volunteer summer workers, the UMYF was
reactivated in July. There was an activity
night once weekly for swimming, bowling, minia-
ture golf, etc. "Hobo Day" was held in November
with the youth working at odd jobs to earn
money for their Youth Service Fund pledge.
Mrs. Sara Ann Williams directed the 1971 Vaca-
tion Church School. A special feature was the
processional, with the children making a
pledge to the American and the Christian flags.
The flags were a gift to the church from Max
and Kalah Hardy in memory of Kalah's mother,
Mrs. Johannah Olson Knutson.
The following is a copy of the writeup sent to
the Wesleyan Christian Advocate concerning the
"Galilean Service" in 1971:
vSunday, September 26, is a date that will
be long-remembered by members of the Lees-
burg United Methodist Church, the DeSoto
UMYF, and other invited guests who gathered
at the lakeside cottage of Mr. and Mrs.
E. A. 'Ned' Crotwell at Lake Blackshear.
After a period of fellowship and recreation
which included swimming, boating, skiing
and other activities, a bountiful picnic
supper was spread outdoors and enjoyed by
approximately 115 persons.
"The highlight of the occasion came with
the worship service following the picnic.
After W. L. Lumpkin sang 'The Stranger
78
from Galilee', the pastor, Curtis C.
Roberts, stepped into a boat at the
water's edge and preached a message en-
titled 'The Call to Discipleship', using
for his text, Luke 5:11: '.. .They J.eft
everything and followed Him.'"
On December 19, the combined Youth and Adult
Choirs under the direction of Mrs. Pat Tharp
presented a Christmas program, "Let Us Tell the
Story". In the absence of a choir director at
the Methodist Church, Pat had volunteered her
services. This was much appreciated. Also in-
cluded in the program was "The Living Christmas
Card", directed by Mrs. Opal Cannon and Mrs.
Ethelind Cannon.
On Christmas Sunday, members decorated a live
Christmas tree with their offerings for the
Building Fund.
1212
The pastor's study was painted, remodeled and
refurnished, most of the work and/or funds be-
ing supplied by the WSCS. He was given a new
sofa, air conditioner, electric typewriter,
carpet, draperies, cabinet, shelves.
A framed needlepoint picture of "Praying Hands",
handmade by Mrs. Jewel Heath, was hung in the
narthex. This lovely work was given by Mrs.
Heath through the WSCS.
On Sunday, January 2, each member was furnished
a copy of the 1972 church budget, and given an
opportunity to make a pledge of money and of
service. There was a good response.
79
On January l6, State Trooper Donald Murphy of
the Georgia State Patrol Drug Abuse Informa-
tion Unit came to the evening worship service
to put on a program. He displayed mqny drugs
of abuse and gave an informative talk, fol-
lowed by a question and answer session.
A Christian Enrichment School for church school
workers was held the first of the year, taught
by the Reverend Lawrence Houston, the Reverend
LaVaughn Foster, and Miss Betty Corcoran.
On Maundy Thursday during Holy Week, Holy Com-
munion was celebrated with the communicants be-
ing served at tables of twelve. On Easter
there was a Sunrise Service on the Methodist
Church lawn, with each of the local churches
participating. At the morning worship service,
the kneeling stand held 28 pots of Easter
lilies in memory or honor of loved ones.
The Membership Orientation Class at Camp Dooly
from April 21-23 was a high spiritual experience
and fun.
There was a talent show on May 7, following a
covered dish supper. It was a most enjoyable
evening.
The Friendship Class, being concerned about
the number of its members who had become in-
active over the years, asked Mrs. Grace Rhodes
to compose a poem to be sent to these members.
The poem she wrote is on the following page.
Attendance was good at Vacation Church School
in July, with Mrs. Patsy Cook as director.
80
THE EMPTY CHAIR
Last Sunday I went to Sunday School
And who do you think was there?
Hardly any of my friends could I see
In fact, the room was almost hare!
I left there with a heavy heart
To know that some were away;
They missed so much of the Word of God,
I just wish there were some way
To let them know what it really means
To he there in their place;
They are needed more than they'll ever know
To help fill each empty space
So please he there next Sunday
And fill your empty chair;
Your presence means so very much
And you'll he glad that you are there.
God hless you in your effort
To come join us on His day,
My prayers go with you always,
You'll he hlest along the way.
By Grace Rhodes.
In observance of Christian Education Sunday,
church members met at the cottage of Mr. and
Mrs. E. A. Crotwell on Lake Blackshear on
September 24, for an afternoon and evening of
old-fashioned Christian fun, fellowship and
worship. The festivities included swimming,
sack-racing, bobbing for apples, pantomime,
a barbershop quartet and other entertainment.
A bountiful picnic was spread, replete with
81
blackeyed peas, crackling bread, biscuits,
homemade sausage, fried pies and other delect-
able old-time goodies.
This was followed by the presentation of a
two-act play written by the Reverend Curtis
Roberts, commemorating the early Methodist
Circuit rider of the period shortly after the
Civil War. Many historical facts were sprin-
kled throughout the drama and the dramatized
sermon. Brother Roberts, who played the lead-
ing part, came riding in astride a horse.
This outdoor event took the place of the reg-
ular Sunday evening worship service at the
church.
On October 1, Mr. Don Powers was hired as
Music Director.
The UMYF took on new life this year. They
had a number of fund-raising projects such as
selling doughnuts, collecting and selling
soft drink bottles. A chili supper brought
them $23 which was contributed towards build-
ing a church in Santiago, Chile. They took
charge of the entire morning worship service
on July 9-
On December 10, Brother Roberts had to ful-
fill a commitment (or was it a threat?) he
had made at the beginning of the year, to sing
a solo when attendance at morning worship
reached 110. (He did a very good job, a cap-
pella, and the congregation loved it.)
Miss Nettie Mae Bass, Membership Secretary,
transferred our list of members to a new roll
book, which was given by Mrs. LaVerne Hinds.
Several individuals and some classes spon-
82
sored Christinas for one or more children at
the Methodist Home.
A copy of "Good News for Modern Man" was given
each prisoner who was released from Lee Cor-
rectional Institution this year. The chair-
person of the Work Area on Social Concerns
counseled each one, encouraging them to take
Christ with them if they were to know real
freedom.
Mrs. Ethelind Cannon, as Nursery Home Visitor,
will be responsible for placing a rose on the
altar in honor of each baby born to members.
1973
"Key '73" was an interdenominational endeavor
of great magnitude to call our continent to
Christ. It was divided into different
phases, and the phase chairmen, general chair-
man, and the pastor attended a training session
at the Leslie Methodist Church. There was a
Noon Prayer Call for two weeks beginning the
day after Christmas 1972, and a community-wide
Watch Night service was held at the First
Baptist Church on December 31, 1972. The
Leesburg Methodist Church was well-represented
at the Bishop's Convocation on Evangelism at
Macon in January. Study courses on Luke and
Acts were taught by the pastor.
Perhaps the most ambitious effort of the "Key
'73" thrust was the booth at the Southwest
Georgia Fair in Albany. The $150 cost of the
booth was shared by the different churches of
Leesburg, and the churches alternated the re-
sponsibility of keeping the booth, and fur-
nishing choir music. Scripture portions, a
83
Bible-reading plan, and other printed matter
were passed out, and slides of various church
activities were shown.
In January 1973 the Women's Society of Christ-
ian Service became the United Methodist
Women. During the year they had an Attic
Sale, a Bake Sale, and sold over 500 copies
of the cookbook they had printed with favor-
ite recipes of members and friends. Thanks-
giving boxes were taken to shut-ins; a mis-
cellaneous shower was given the newlywed Mrs.
Marcus Roberts; $150 was donated on tennis
courts, $100 on organ, $50 toward expenses at
Camp Dooly of the Membership Orientation Class.
For many years our church members had dreamed
of having their tennis courts paved. This
dream came true in 1973, and to the delight
of everyone, these two courts immediately be-
came just about-the most popular spot in town!
Hearty thanks were in order for the hard work,
determination and leadership of those pro-
moting this project and to the many donors
who made this possible. Leesburg Methodists
were by no means the only contributors of the
more than $3000.
The purchase of a console organ was the cul-
mination of another long-time desire. Mr.
W. E. Tarpley left the church a legacy of
$2000 when he died a number of years ago. His
gift, along with some $1^00 in donations from
other sources made this purchase possible.
The organ lends itself in its own special way
to a more worshipful atmosphere.
8U
The church was fortunate in obtaining the ser-
vices of Mrs. James Hayes, Jr., as its Direc-
tor of Music around May of 1973.
Sometime during the year the Church of God
purchased two acres of land in Leesburg and
started a mission, with Brother Joe Coley as
pastor. They used a mobile chapel. Then on
May 28, the church was set in order and the mis-
sion became a full-fledged church.
Perhaps the most notable event of the year was
the ordination of Miss Helen Gray Crotwell
into the Methodist ministry in June. Helen
Gray is the daughter of Jim and Helen Crotwell
She assumed the position of Associate Minister
at Duke University on September 1.
Vacation Church School was held July 16-20.
Otis Hill loaned a school bus, which Ernest
Coxwell drove. The school, directed by Mrs.
Elsie Cannon, had a record attendance.
Brother Roberts and Pauline were honored with
a reception on July 22, given by their chil-
dren for their 25th wedding anniversary which
fell on July 18, 1973. This was a beautiful
occasion.
The outside woodwork of the church and par-
sonage was painted in the summer, as well as
the classrooms, and one of the church air con-
ditioners was overhauled. The parsonage re-
ceived a central air conditioning/heating
system in August. The parsonage family was
most grateful for this addition.
85
For the third consecutive year, members of
the Leesburg United Methodist Church observed
Christian Education Sunday at the cottage of
Mr. and Mrs. E. A. ("Ned" and Lucille) Crot-
well, on the banks of Lake Blackshear. This
year it fell on September 23, and the theme
was a "Bible Times Festival". Included in the
entertainment were swimming in the Crotwell's
pool; playing games with a Biblical background
gospel singing led by Jim Hayes, accompanied
on the piano by Mrs. Maggie Harris. There was
a study of Bible Times musical instruments
and their use in worship.
Further carrying out the theme, a special
table of favorite Hebrew foods had been pre-
pared as part of the delicious picnic supper.
A drama entitled "The Jericho Road" was pre-
sented in lieu of the regular Sunday evening
church service. This was an original play
written by the talented minister, Curtis
Roberts, and was based on the story of the
Good Samaritan in Luke 10: 25-37* Brother
Roberts narrated the play, and members of the
cast were: Sam Williams, Jim Smith, Heyward
Cook III, Randy Roberts, Jim Hayes, Henry
Cannon and Otis Hill.
Approximately 85 members participated in the
enjoyment of this occasion.
Homecoming Day on October lU was a delight-
ful experience. The Reverend Joe Kelley
preached the sermon and there was a memorial
service for all members who had died since
the last homecoming.
86
The United Methodist Men made a $50 donation
to the "Heifer Project" of the South Georgia
Methodist Conference. This involved giving
a needy person in Bolivia a cow or other farm
animal to help him help himself. Each recip-
ient pledged the first offspring of his gift
animal to another needy person.
The UMM also purchased three signs to indi-
cate direction to the Methodist Church from
the highways; and they donated $15 to the
Learning Center at Epworth-by-the-Sea.
The UMYF won the Sub-District Efficiency Ban-
ner in November. They sold doughnuts to help
pay for the beautiful six-piece parament set
for the pulpit and altar; had a car wash in
June to earn money for the organ; donated
$50 on the tennis courts by selling drink
bottles; sold candy to raise funds for Camp
Dooly.
The chairperson of Christian Social Concerns
reported having had the wonderful opportunity
of counseling 120 inmates being released
throughout this year from the Lee Correctional
Institution, admonishing them to put God
first in their lives. Each one was given a
copy of The Living New Testament. She stated
that the opportunity to witness in this man-
ner affords her a great deal of satisfaction.
The Friendship Class bought a paper-cutter for
the church office. Throughout the years they
have contributed to many worthwhile causes,
such as: The Anchorage, Camp Dooly, Method-
ist Home, Andrews College, Empty Stocking
Fund in Leesburg, repairs to the church, etc.
87
On December 23, youths and adults went out
and jointly sang Christmas carols over the
town.
It .was decided to have a Family Night each
first Sunday, beginning with a covered dish
supper, then a program for all, followed by
a short business meeting of the men's,
women's'and youth's organizations, with enter
tainment provided for the children.
1974
The Unadilla United Methodist Church School
challenged Ellaville and Leesburg to an at-
tendance contest from February 17 to
March 24, to see who could make the most im-
provement in attendance and enrollment. Lees
burg failed to win the contest, but was a
winner in that there was a renewed interest
in church school attendance.
In March, Mrs. Sara Ann Williams presented
a picture of "Christ, the Good Shepherd",
done in lovely needlepoint, as a memorial to
her grandfather, Barney L. Snider.
There was a Maundy Thursday service of Holy
Communion; and a community Easter Sunrise
Service was held at the football stadium,
with doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate
served afterwards.
The UMM fish fry on April 19 netted $180 for
their church landscaping project.

Teams of one youth and one adult competed in a
Fishing Rodeo on Lake Seminole May 10-11.
On June 16, six members of the UMYF went to the
Crotwell's cabin on Lake Blackshear with Dick
and Martha Neff and Mrs. Lucille Cannon. They
enjoyed cooking out, swimming, games, and good
fellowship. Four remained overnight with the
counselors, returning home about noon the next
day. This writer suddenly realized she knew very
little about this organization, so inquired of
Martha Neff. Martha advised that the UMYF is an
extension of Sunday School--the recreation part
for the 12 years old and up. The amount of their
conference dues is not based on the number who at-
tend UMYF, but rather is $1 apiece for all in
this age group who attend Sunday School. In
other words, a Sunday School member is a UMYF
member, whether or not he or she attends; so
you can see how necessary their fund-raising cam-
paigns are. The Leesburg UMYF is a member of the
Annie Cato Sub-District, which they attend once a
month. They have a program and fellowship, and
compete for attendance and efficiency banners.
They have recently won the Efficiency Banner 8
out of 9 months.
On June 30, Mr. and Mrs. B. E. Gunter, parents of
Mrs. Betty Cannon, were honored by their children
with a reception for their 50th Wedding Anniver-
sary.
Five church members agreed to sing at morning
worship service if the attendance record of 119
was exceeded. On July 28, 132 were in attendance
and so the "Record Breakers Five", composed of
Brother Roberts, Malcolm Cannon, Ray Tumlin,
Thad Gibson, and Helen Johnson,
89
sang "There is Power in the Blood".
Vacation Church School was held August 5-9
under the leadership of Elsie Cannon. A most
interesting feature (and something that was
most enjoyable to the children) was Brother
Roberts dressing in his centennial costume of
derby hat, string tie, vest, and with a walking
stick, taking the children by classes on a
walking tour to the site of the first Method-
ist church building in Leesburg, which is the
present home of Mrs. E. B. (Mary) Lee. The
building was later used for a school for
many years, then was purchased by R. A.
Forrester who remodeled it and made it into a
very attractive home. The children were also
shown the site of the old courthouse.
A-Teacher Appreciation Right is being planned
for September 8, which is to take the place
of the usual Family Night which has been held
each first Sunday of the month. There will
be the regular covered dish supper, but the
teachers are to be honor guests on this even-
ing.
The Administrative Board voted to celebrate
the church's 100th birthday on September 29>
which is Christian Education Sunday. Everyone
is expected to dress and look the part of 100
years ago, with the ladies wearing long
dresses, aprons, bonnets, high-top shoes, and
the men with beards, mustaches, derby hats,
vests, string ties, etc.
The Friendship Class has paid for the at-
tractive church bell display which has been
90
constructed on the church lawn, to house
the old church bell. This rustic structure
features brick columns and redwood paneling
for the base, with iron posts supporting a
shelter of cedar shingles. The bell which
hangs in the center has been cleaned and
painted a shining brass. Frank Godwin was
the designer and supervisor of this work.
Mrs. Margarette Harris' has been the pianist/
organist for our church for over eight years.
We are thankful for her faithfulness.
IN CLOSING
We members of the Leesburg United Methodist
Church of 1974 have a wonderful heritage.
Our church was built by faith, prayer, love,
sacrifice, and devotion to duty.
In the words of our pastor, Curtis Roberts,
"May we never become a self-satisfied and
complacent church, but pray always for the
vision to see the needs around us, the wis-
dom to respond to them, and the faith to at-
tempt the impossible for Jesus sake."
Amen.
91
CHURCH DIRECTORY - 1974
Resident Bishop ................................................... William R. Cannon
District Superintendent ...........................................H. McCoy Johnson
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD
Pastor ................'.................................-.........Curtis C. Roberts
Chairperson.....................................Malcolm Cannon
Vice-Chairperson .....................--------....-...................Ray Tumlin
Recording Secretary ...-----------------------------------Mrs. J. E. Johnson
Lay Leader *..........................------------------------------- Richard F- Neff
Lay Member of the Annual Conference................................Otis H. Cannon
Chairperson of Committee on Finance.............------------------Max B. Hardy, Sr.
Chairperson of Committee on Pastor Parish and Lay Personnel -----.Otis H. Cannon
Chairperson of Trustees...-....-.....................-------------------Fay Tumlin
Secretary of Committee on Nominations .............................Mrs. Lucilla Cannon
Church Treasurer ......---------------.............---------------H. H. Cook, Sr.
Financial Secretary....-pr-..........................- Mrs. H. H. Cook, Sr.
Chairperson of Council on Ministries............................... James L. Smith
Secretary of Enlistment ..............Mary Eloise Green
Membership Secretary ..................................... Miss Nettie Mae Bass
President of the United Methodist Women ------------i-~----------- Mrs. C. R. Grace
President of the United Methodist Men-..........----------------James L. Smith
Health and Welfare Representative...............-----------------**" Mrs. C. R. Grace
Chairperson of Work Areas:
Ecumenical Affairs
Education---------
Evangelism ......
Missions ------
Social Concerns -
Stewardship ------
Worship-----------
AgeLevel Coordinators:
--------Mrs. J. M. Rhodes
~ Mrs. W. E. Cannon, Sr.
----- Mrs. Harry H. Hinds
...---- Mrs. E. A. Crotwell
Mrs. Thomas C. Swann, Sr.
---------Max B. Hardy, Sr.
------Mrs. H. H. Cook, Jr.
Children's Ministries
Youth Ministries
Adult Ministries
Family Ministries
MembersatLarge:
Class of 1974
H. H. Cook. Jr.
Forrest Crotwell
Mrs. Florence Cannon
Mrs. Richard Neff
J. E. Johnson
Miss Susie Lee Green
Elbert Williams
Class of 1975
Ray Tumlin
J. Malcolm Cannon
Mrs. C. R. Grace
Miss Bertha Cannon
Mrs. J. E. Johnson
Miss Donna Neff (Y)
Mrs. Tommy Cannon (YA)
THE COUNCIL ON MINISTRIES
Mrs. Otis H. Cannon
Mrs. James L. Smith
Mrs. Eloise Green
Mrs. James Cannon
Class of 1976
R. E. Coxwell
R. S. Williams
Thomas C. Swann, Sr.
Alton Turner, Sr.
Mrs. Ray Tumlin
Miss Lynn Turner (YA)
Miss Barbara Coxwell (Y)
Chairperson ................S-....................
ViceChairperson ........-...-HISS-.............
Secretary....................... -----------------
Pastor in Charge ...-------------------------------
Chairperson of the Administrative Board------------
Chairperson of Committee on Finance.............
President of the United Methodist Women .............
Lay Leader ..............-w--*:;r5
Youth Members: -------------------(1) Rachael Grace
Young Adult Members: -------------(1) Marcus Roberts
Representative of United Methodist Men.............
All AgeLevel Coordinators: (Listed above)
All Work Area Chairpersons: (Listed above)
Other Staff Persons.
-------James L. Smith
- Mrs. W. E. Cannon, Sr.
------Mrs. C. R. Grace
-ifx- Curtis C. Roberts
-- J. Malcolm Cannon
Max B. Hardy, Sr.
Mrs. C. R. Grace
Richard F. Neff
-------- (2) Ken Neff
(2) Mrs. Lewis W. Harris
----Joseph E. Johnson
TRUSTEES
E. A. Crotwell (74) Ray T. Tumlin (75) James M. Cannon, Sr. (76)
COMMUNION STEWARD
Mrs. J. D. Bass
92
1974 Administrative Board members present for
called meeting, August 11, 1974:
Beginning with back row, left to right:
Jim Smith, Forrest Crotwell, Betty Tumlin,
Sam Williams, E. A. Crotwell, Malcolm Cannon,
Thomas Swann, Otis Cannon, Mary Eloise Green,
Donna Neff, Elsie Cannon, Bobbie Swann,
Dick Neff, LaVerne Hinds, Patsy Cook, Martha
Neff, Aline Grace, Lorice Cook, Ethelind
Cannon (in front of Aline Grace), Lucille
Crotwell (a little behind and to the left of
Ethelind Cannon),; and on front row, Curtis
Roberts, Heyward Cook, Eloise Green, Lucilla
Cannon, Helen Johnson, Buddy Cook.
93
Left to right:
Curtis C. Roberts, Pastor; Ray Tumlin, Chair-
person of the Administrative Board; Mrs. H. H.
Cook, Sr., Financial Secretary; H. H. Cook,
Sr., Church Treasurer; J. Malcolm Cannon,
Chairperson of the Administrative Board;
Richard F. Neff, Lay Leader; Mrs. J. E. John-
son, Recording Secretary.
94
(Top), 197^ Trustees: James M. Cannon, Sr.
Ray T. Tumlin, E. A. Crotvell.
(Bottom), Randy C. Roberts, UMYF President
Mrs. C. R. Grace, UMW President; Jim Smith
UMM President.
95
PAST PRESIDENTS
(Only a partial listing, as many records are
lost!)
YOUTH ORGANIZATION (Epworth League, Methodist
Youth Fellowship, and United Methodist Youth Fel-
lowship ):
Eloise Tarpley
Sarah Kitchens
Gwendolyn Johnson
Charles Clark
Ann Cannon
Billy Crotwell
Mary Cannon
Mary Clark
Annelle Crotwell-
Linda Thrift
Phyllis ' Cannon
Smitty Cannon
Tommy Cannon
Angie Grace
Jennifer Helms
Judy Powell
Frank David Hinds
Bill, Cannon
Charlie Gibson
Heyward Cook III
Randy Roberts (currently
serving)
MEN'S ORGANIZATION (Methodist Men, United Meth-
odist Men):
Malcolm Cannon
Hoke Cannon
Joseph Johnson
W. L. Lumpkin
Max Hardy
Elbert Williams
Sam Williams
Jim Smith (current
President)
WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION (Woman's Home & Foreign Mis-
sions, Woman's Missionary Society, Woman's Soci-
ety of Christian Service, and United Methodist
Women):
Mrs. Crumbly
Mrs. Barbara Lyon
Mrs. Dan Shackleford
Mrs. Sellars
Mrs. E. A. Dawley
Mrs. J. P. Horne
.Mrs. Helen Johnson
Mrs. W. Y. Faircloth
Mrs. Maxine Pate
Mrs. Opal Cannon
Mrs. Kalah Hardy
Mrs. Lucille Crotwell
Mrs. Mary Varner
Miss Bertha Cannon
Mrs. Lucilla Cannon
Mrs. Aline Grace (current)
96
PAST OFFICIALS
(A partial list, as many records are lost)
Sunday School Superintendents:
(Church School Superintendent)
T. M. Booker R. E. Howe
Dr. J. H. Conoway
Rev. V. P. Folds
S. J. Powell
J. N. Mitchell
Z. T. Pate
Max B. Hardy
Cecil Gihhs
Vacation Bible School Director:
(Vacation Church School Director)
Mrs. Elsie Cannon
Mrs. Patsy Cook
Mrs. Sara Ann Williams
Mrs. Verga Hill
Mrs. Ethelind Cannon
Mrs. Gwendolyn Guilheau
Mrs. Mary Lee Clark
Mrs. W. Y. Faircloth
Church Lay Leaders:
W. E. Tarpley
J. E. Johnson
L. E. Vest
L. B. Cannon
Thad Gibson
Cecil Gibbs
J. T. Groover
Elbert Williams
H. H. Cook, Jr.
Richard F. Neff (Present)
9T
Table I, Statistical Table
THIS COPY FOR THE CHARGE CONFERENCE RECORD
Conference Church No
Local Church Report to the Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
State _
_ County.
in
Reports for the year ended December 31, 19 73-
or for the period
B943_,io_
ImportantRead instructions c
DO NOT WHITE IN THIS SPACE

Total full member, reported at clou
Received this year on Confession of Faith or Restored ..
Received from other United Methodist churches.......
Received from other denominations ..................
Removed by Charge Conference action or withdrawn ...
Removed by transfer to other United Methodist church
Removed by transfer to other denominations .........
Removed by death ...................................
Total full members at dose of this year............
Number of persons baptized this year (all ages) ...
Number of leaders (teachers, administrators, etc. for
Children (birth through sixth grade) in all classes an
Youth (seventh grade through high school) in all das
Adults (post high school) in all classes and groups
Total church school membership (add lines 15-18 ir

ly Churcl
Membership in .United Methodist Worn,
Amount paid (or local church and com:
Value of church land, buildings and equipment........
Value of church-owned parsonages and furniture.......
Value of other assets (cash, securities, other property, e
Indebtedness on items 28, 27, 28 at end of year......
tc.) .
1*
2*
4t
-&k-
r ip-

103
*5
12
37
lCl.OOQ-
37,000.
28.000.'
98
Table n, Financial Report this copy fob th charge conference record Conference Church No.
Local Church Report to the Annual Conference
Hie United Methodist Church Pastor- CUBSU 0. IpCTWjl____________
State ^MMZk County ***______________________ Chnrrt. UMMHH*_____________________
Reports for the year ended December 31, 19 73
uaw
or for the period __________'______________
JP< 1 19 73 , to19 ft. District __________
ImportantRead instructions on Work Sheet Conference QB0B8RA
Amount Paid
99
HISTORICAL NOTES
ABOUT
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
The United Methodist Women of the United Meth-
odist Church has many predecessor organiza-
tions. To better understand the present
organization, let us review the events of the
past which led up to the present organization.
The following excerpts are presented from the
Handbook/Workbook for United Methodist Women,
Board of Global Ministries of the United Meth-
odist Church:
"It was in the|g-9th Century, the missionary
century and the women's century, that the
foremothers of our denomination first
organized for missionary service.
"The nation was recovering from a terrible
civil war; children were working ten hours
a day in factories and longer in the
fields; women had no political or economic
rights; and millions around the world lived
in poverty, ignorance and without medical
care. On a March day of blustery winds
and driving rain in 1869 s eight women came
together at the Tremont Church in Boston
to organize the first Woman's Foreign Mis-
sionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. This group eventually sent to
India, Isabella Thoburn, who established
at Lucknow the first school for girls in
that country, and Dr. Clara Swain, who
set up a woman's hospital at Bareilly.
"Other structural expressions of the same
commitment to assume responsibility to
work, to pray, to study and to give for
the mission of the church were:
100
"1863 - Woman's Foreign Missionary Society,
The Methodist Episcopal Church,
South.
"1910 - Merger of Woman's Home Missionary
Society and Woman's Board of For-
eign Missions to form Woman's Mis-
sionary Council, an organic part of
the Board of Missions, The Method-
ist Episcopal Church, South.
"1939-^0 - Woman's Society of Christian
Service, The Methodist (a union of
five organizee women's groups of
three Methodist communions) and
Wesleyan Service Guild.
"1968 - Union of the Methodist Church' and
the United Brethren Church. Con-
tinuing mission concerns of women
expressed through the Women's So-
ciety of Christian Service and
Wesleyan Service Guild."
"Growing side hy side with missionary societies
in most local churches were the Ladies' Aid
Societies. These organizations had no gen-
eral church counterpart, since their function
was to aid the local church. Frequently they
were the same women who were members of the
Missionary Societies; Ladies Aiders began to
wish for a program of study and outreach in ad-
dition to their local church activities; many
women's society members began to see the mis-
sion and ministry of the church as whole, not
bound by geography. It was this vision of
wholeness that led the Methodist women to a
unified local organization in 1939-^0........
*\
As the need for a missionary group for em-
ployed women began to be realized in the
101
churches, structures were provided. The Wes-
leyan Service Guild was organized within the
Methodist Episcopal Church in 1921; it was
continued as an auxiliary of the new Woman's
Society of Christian Service in 1939*........
"In October 1971, the Women's Division voted
that there should be 'one new inclusive organ-
ization for women, with a new name', to be a
successor to the Women's Society of Christian
Service and Wesleyan Service Guild.
"General Conference (April 1972) approved the
constitutions for the local units of UNITED
METHODIST WOMEN, and the District, Conference
and Jurisdiction organizations of UNITED
METHODIST WOMEN."
As of January 1973, the UNITED METHODIST
WOMEN became a reality in the South Georgia
Conference.
"Women organized for mission! Flexible
structure to enhance effective mission! This
is our goal! UNITED METHODIST WOMEN is a new
missional unit in every congregation, but it
has not been created in a vacuum. Emerging
from the former structures, the Women's Soci-
ety of Christian Service and Wesleyan Service
Guild, it will continue to carry heavy re-
sponsibilities for the financial undergirding
of the total mission outreach program of the
church. It will'* function as a part of a con-
nectional system and through districts and
conferences will be related to the Women's
Division of the Board of Global Ministries.
It will continue to provide opportunities for
women to be in mission locally, assume leader-
ship in various areas of church and society
102
and be related to women and their concerns
throughout the world.
"Through the years, the'missionary motivation
of UNITED METHODIST WOMEN (and its predecessor
organization) has remained basically a central
part of its purpose.... We are UNITED METHOD-
IST WOMEN, one new inclusive Organization for
women in mission."
103
Leesburg Boy Scouts Win Awards.
An undated newspaper clipping from the
Albany Herald records a very significant
service held at the Leesburg Methodist Church
during the pastorate of Rev. Charles Webster:
"Services last Sunday at the Leesburg
Methodist Church were dedicated to presen-
tation of God and Country Awards to eight
boys from Troop 16 in Leesburg. The youths
were Jimmy Rhodes, Butch Rhodes, Frank David
Hinds, John Thomas Hinds, Jimmy Cannon, Bill
Cannon, Dave Thrift and Jim McBride.
"Max Hardy, assistant scoutmaster and chair-
man of Chehaw Council Camping Activities
Committee, introduced Ernest Wells, Chehaw
scout representative, who gave a summary of
the God and Country requirements. The Rev.
Charles Webster, pastor, emphasized the
significance of the awards in his sermon.
"J. M. Rhodes, Jr., scoutmaster, presented
the candidates and other scouts. The Rev.
Webster awarded the medals, followed by the
presentation of miniature awards to the
parents.
"Jimmy Rhodes, Eagle scout, presented the
pastor with a gift from the candidates for
his service and guidance the past year.
Also present was the God and Country Committee
from the Leesburg Methodist Church, which
is composed of Max Hardy, John E. Groover,
Lamar Cannon, Elbert Williams and Hilton
Brooks."
104
105
106
PASTORAL APPOINTMENTS
LEESBURG METHODIST CHURCH
1909-1943
BH
si 1< 3 -ji v ihfl % J * v v
i| IiBw
107

PASTORAL APPOINTMENTS
106

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Clary, George Esmond, Jr. The Beginnings Of
The South Georgia Conference. The South
Georgia Conference Historical Society in
observance of the Conference Centennial
year 1966-1967.
Epworth-By-The-Sea, "The Wesleys in Georgia",
Together Magazine, September, 1957. A
leaflet reprint.
Georgia Historical Records Survey, Inventory
Of County Archives Of Georgia (No. 88,
Lee County, Volume I). Atlanta: Work
Projects Administration, 1942.
Handbook/Workbook for United Methodist Women,
Board of Global Ministries of the United
Methodist Church, Chapter VIII, 93-97.
McGehee, John Boykin, Autobiography of Rev.
J. McGehee, D. D. of The South Georgia
Conference. Buena Vista, Georgia, Weaver
Pringing Company, 1915.
Prince, Alfred M., A History of Methodism
In Georgia. The North Georgia Conference
Historical Society, 1956.
Quarterly Conference Records for certain years
found on file at Bronwood, Leslie, and
Leesburg churches.
Resources of Lee County, Georgia. Published by
the authority of the County Commissioners
1895.
South Georgia Annua1 Conference Journal of
The Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
Volumes for 1858-1938, excluding 1880 &
1881. Courtesy Library-Museum, Epworth-
By-The-Sea, St. Simons Island, Georgia.
109
South Georgia Annua 1 Conference Journal of
The Methodist Church. Volumes for 1939-
1967. Courtesy Library-Museum, Epworth-
By-The-Sea, St. Simons Island, Georgia.
South Georgia Annua1 Conference Journa1 Of
The United Methodist Church. Volumes for
1968-1974. Courtesy Library-Museum,
Epworth-By-The-Sea, St. Simons Island,
Georgia.
Town and Country Commission of the South
Georgia Conference, Meet The Circuits
of 1953.
OTHER SOURCES:
Church paper, Wesleyan Christian Advocate,
Macon, Georgia. (Clipping), Jan. 6, 1955.
Crotwell, Sam P., County Surveyor, for copies
of maps of early Leesburg and Old Starksville.
Dedication Service Educationa1 Building
Bulletin, The Leesburg Methodist Church,
May 28, 1950.
General Assembly, Acts and Resolutions of
The General Assembly of Georgia, Part II,
Tit. 1, Chap. 2, Charter Amendments, No.
CL. -(0. No. 173), pp 201,202.
Gilbert, Emory C., Letter addressed to Earle
J. Garbutt, District Superintendent, April
19, 1955.
Minutes of the Leesburg Presbyterian Church.
Courtesy of W. M. Coxwell, Elder.
McBride, James, statement as to location of
former town of Webster.
110
Newspaper, The Albany (Georgia) Herald,
"Portrait of Smiling Christ Given WSCS",
Nov, 28, 1955. (Clipping).
Newspaper, Albany Herald, "History of Starksville,
Tom Love, October 24, 1941.
Newspapers, Lee County Journal. (Files of old
newspapers on file in the ordinary's office,
Leesburg, Georgia).
Record of Deeds, Courtesy, W. M. Coxwell,
County Clerks Office.
Scrapbook of Woman's Society of Christian
Service, for the Leesburg Methodist Church,
1952-1953.
Scrapbook of City of Leesburg for 1951-1952.
Snider, Mrs. B. L., A statement as to location
of former town of Webster, and Wesley Chapel
Church.
111


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