Corinth Methodist was formed in 1830 as Heard County was being created from portions of Troup, Carroll and Coweta Counties. The Methodist church was just moving into this part of Georgia and the Georgia Conference was formed and separated from the South Carolina Conference. The history states that in January of 1833, the annual Methodist Conference was held in La Grange with Bishop James Andrew, a very prominent person in Methodist history, presiding. In the 1840’s the Methodist Episcopal church split into Northern and Southern factions over the issue of slavery. Rev. James Andrew was prominently involved in this controversy. Note – see Andrew Chapel in Coweta County on this website for more information.
The location of the very first structure of Corinth Methodist is not known, but it is believed to have been located nearby. One of the histories tells us the first building was built in 1837 and located about one mile west of the present location. A 2nd building was then built in 1857 on land donated to the church by Corinth Academy, a school that had been incorporated in 1832 by an act of the Georgia legislature. Mary Thompson then sold an additional two and a half acres to the church for $25. At the beginning of the Civil War, the history states that several members of the church were slave owners and that a Corinth pastor, William Cone, enlisted as a chaplain with the Confederacy and died during the war in Richmond.
In 1893 the church acquired the land for it’s present location when it bought a narrow tract of adjoining land from the Corinth Baptist Church. In the early 1900’s, the decision was made to build a new church with twenty families pledging to support the construction cost. Construction was begun in 1903 and completed in 1904 at cost of $1,086. It has been well maintained and lovingly cared for by the congregation ever since. Like all rural churches, Corinth has had her ups and downs but she stands today as a proud reminder of our past for well over 100 years. We are grateful to the members of the congregation for their stewardship.
This charming sanctuary is quite typical of the era during which it was designed and built. Its Victorian character is quite evident and reflected in its architecture. We see a simple single gable sanctuary that is flanked by two towers with steeply pitched, pointed roofs. One tower is small while the other is larger and serves as the belfry/bell tower. All of the windows, including the center, large one, are gothic. The barge boards of the gabled roof are quite ornate and are matched by those of the two porch roofs over the front doors. These fancy decorative features were in style at the end of the 19th century.
In the early 1900’s, a growing prosperity throughout Georgia allowed for churches to be less frugal and spare when buying furnishings for their houses of worship. Hard, flat, hand-hewn pews were no longer necessary. In this view, we see the original, quite stylish manufactured pews they chose to purchase for their shiny new church.
Here we see another view of the pews highlighting their quality and handsome, scrolled, decorative ends. We also see the wood-framed, gothic windows and decorative, stained glass panes. Note that the pew ends incorporate carved gothic images that match the windows. These costly, decorative flourishes are further evidence of the congregation’s prosperity in those early years of the 20th century.
Here we get a close up look at the chancel and its semi-circular prayer rail. Behind that rail, we look past the communion table into the apse where the pulpit and chairs can be seen. The apse sits behind a graceful, ornate carved wooden cased opening that is reflective of its late Victorian vintage. Note that it is bathed in the colorful glow created by the gothic stained windows flanking the pulpit.
This view highlights the architectural and decorative simplicity of the sanctuary today. Though the ceiling was lowered in the1970’s, this view today is quite similar to what would have been seen in the 1900’s. Clearly, the congregation has done a wonderful job preserving its appearance and authenticity over the last 100+ years.
These ropes rise high above the sanctuary floor through the belfry tower. When pulled, they cause the bell to ring today, warming the hearts of all that hear them, just as they have for so many decades at this wonderful old church.
N. A. Moreland is in census records in Heard County in 1850 and 1860 with his wife, Sarah, and children. He trained as a physician in Louisville, Kentucky. His wife Elizabeth was talented in both music and art and some of her watercolors and sheet music are housed at the Georgia Historical Society. Dr. Moreland was a man of means and a gold pocket watch and Moreland family papers are also preserved at the Georgia Historical Society.
John Martin Gentry is shown in the 1860 Heard County census as an apprentice carpenter. In 1870 he is a wheelwright and in 1880 he is a farmer. People living in that part of frontier Georgia during that time had to possess skills to be self-sufficient. He served in the Confederate Army, Company K, 56th Regiment, Georgia volunteer infantry. He surrendered at Greensboro, NC April 26, 1865. He and his wife had approximately twelve children.
Wesley Spearman grew up on his family’s farm in Heard County and was educated in the schools in that locality. In 1861 he enlisted in Company D, Fourth Georgia Regiment and served until the surrender of Atlanta. He served as justice of the peace for 29 years and in 1880 was elected to represent Heard County in the general assembly. He also served on the county board of education for many years. He was married to Elizabeth Brown. He was a member of the Methodist church for half a century.
John A. Baker is in the 1860 Heard County census with his wife, Rebecca, and their five children. The oldest child is age 11. He was born in South Carolina and gave his occupation as mechanic. He died in 1865 and none of his children were of age at the time of his death. By 1880, Rebecca is living in Heard County with three sons, one of them born after the 1860 census.
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Trying to contact the agent/owner of this church to ask a question
Absolutely beautiful, both inside and outside. Wonderful that the community continues to utilize it instead of opting for a newer facility that would be absent the history of this House of The Lord.
Well said. The history is precious and they have done a good job of stewardship.
These is a jewel and it is great that it has been saved,
This is so beautiful. I am happy that you found some history on this lovely church. MM Bowen, Decatur Ga.