Flovilla Methodist

Butts County
Org 1883
Photography by Tony Cantrell

This area was originally known as Indian Spring because of the early settlement around the “Indian Spring” of the Creek Indians. In the 1820s, as natives were pushed off their lands, white settlers moved into the area and in 1821, they erected some buildings near the spring from which the village took its name. In 1828, lots were drawn up and sold around the spring, and in 1837, the village of Indian Spring was incorporated. The small community was largely destroyed during Sherman’s “March to the Sea” in 1866 and a legislative act changed the name from Indian Spring to McIntosh. 

In the 1880s, the railroad began to expand in this section of Georgia and in 1882, a station was developed near Indian Spring. The station became called Flovilla and land lots were drawn up surrounding it and sold off the same year. After confusion over the names of Indian Spring, East Indian Spring, and the nearby post office at Flovilla station, the villages were incorporated together under the name of Flovilla in 1886.

The railroad brought a boom to the area and as the community grew, residents yearned for local worship houses. Local Methodists met in the homes of members until a large enough group had gathered to form a proper church and Indian Spring Methodist church was born. Although the actual date of the church’s organization is not known, the first quarterly Methodist conference in the district was held at East Indian Spring (now Flovilla) on December 19th, 1883, and according to the conference minutes, the church was listed as “just organized.”

In January 1884, it was announced in the local newspaper that the Methodist conference had purchased 6 blocks from Mr. Heard for $50 and that they planned to erect a church. One of the 6 lots was selected as the site for the church, measuring 60 feet by 100 feet. The original trustees were: James L. Maddux, James C. Maddox, James M. Fields, Pleasant P. Kelly, and Chappel McMullan. They had a vision for this sanctuary at the center of town and a building committee was formed. To help raise funds for its construction, the trustees and building committee solicited donors from Atlanta to Savannah. They hired Mr. P.P. Kelly for the sum of $7 to design the church, and work began on the church. The sanctuary wasn’t ready for occupancy until late in 1884, so in the meantime, they met in the Indian Spring Academy building.

The church is still active today thanks to consistent membership and updates that have been made to the sanctuary over the years. In 1926, Sunday school rooms were added in 1929, electricity was brought to the property. In 1933, to ensure the future of the church, the laymen of the congregation purchased 3 acres of “good cotton land” to be farmed in perpetuity to raise funds for the church. 17 beautiful stained glass windows were installed and dedicated in 1971 with funds donated by individual church families who each sponsored a memorial window. In 1984, the congregation held a weekend-long revival to celebrate its centennial anniversary.

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