Dry Pond Methodist

Jackson County
Org 1825
Photography by Scott MacInnis

According to church records, the first deed for the property now occupied by Dry Pond Methodist was executed on June 20, 1827 by Joseph McCutchins to the trustees of the church ‘ forever in trust, for the benefit of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the purposes mentioned in the discipline of said church‘. However, the church had been formed prior to that and was actively meeting at that time. We are estimating 1825 but the roots could be several years older. Dry Pond is certainly one of the earliest Methodist churches in Jackson County if not the oldest.

Fortunately we have a very good church history available from the Pitts Library at Emory which houses the Northern Conference Methodist archives as well as one compiled by several of the members. The church history states that ‘The first church building was of logs, built at a house raising. The logs were notched to fit. Both sides of the logs were hewn flat after the log had been places in position. The building faced south toward the Hog Mountain road. There was one door in the end facing the road and one on the side. A few benches were placed in the rear on both sides and railed off for negroes to occupy. And there was no mixed audience allowed among the whites. The men sit on one side of the church and the women on the other. A preacher visited the church every twenty eight days and most of the time this appointment fell on a weekday. The preacher rode horseback with saddlebags to carry his books, which consisted of a Bible, a Hymn book and a Ritual.’

In addition to the log church, there was a substantial campground located on the property. ‘The site lies across the road to the front of the present church building.’ The history discussed the construction of the camp grounds and describes an ‘arbor surrounded on three sides by tents to be occupied by the people during the sessions which were held before and following the fourth Sunday in September.’ The stand and the tents were torn down and sold after the Civil War. The last camp meeting was held in 1863.

The present structure is the third sanctuary to be located on the property. ‘Five years after the Civil War, returning Confederate Veterans decided to erect a new church building. There being several local carpenters in the community the building was put up by the giving of time and labor.’ This building was in use until 1903 when the decision was made to build the present structure and the first service was held in September of 1904. This is a wonderful church with a storied history and faithful support from the Jackson County community for 175 years.

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