Longstreet Methodist

Bleckley County
Org 1812
Photography by Tony Cantrell

Organized in 1810 and constructed in 1812, this is the oldest church building in Bleckley County and it is still in use today. It was founded by Charles Walker, son of a veteran of the American Revolution, George Walker.

George is believed to have come to this section of Georgia around 1806, shortly after the land was opened up to white settlement. Two years earlier, these lands had been ceded by the Creek Indians to the Federal Government, and because of his service in the American Revolution, George was offered the chance to settle this new section of Georgia. A Federal Stage and Post Road was established that followed the original native route that connected Milledgeville (the capital of Georgia at that time) and Hartford. George and his 5 sons established plantations along a 3.5-mile stretch of this road that came to be called Long Street. Over time, the two words were combined to Longstreet.

In 1809, a Methodist Church circuit was established and circuit-riding preachers began to circulate through the area, meeting in members’ homes until churches could be built. Around 1810, membership was established at Longstreet and George’s son, Charles Walker, donated the land for the church, which was erected in 1812. He gave two acres- one to be used for a church and burial ground on the west side of the Federal Road and another acre on the opposite side to establish a school that was called Longstreet Academy.

The church building that is still in use today is the original one from 1812, with very few architectural changes, except for a window that was covered. However, the configuration of the church has been altered over time. Originally, the sanctuary had an interior divider that separated male and female members, who entered through separate front doors. The divider has been removed and the pulpit was moved to the opposite wall, changing the pews’ orientation as well. The hand-cut doors are the originals, with original hardware that was forged on one of the surrounding plantations. The pews are mostly original, as is the handcrafted pulpit that is held together with wooden pegs.

In the years after the Civil War, this community changed drastically as many of the plantations collapsed. Most of the Walker Family plantations were lost to fire or demolished over time as families moved away. In the early 1900s, a school was opened at Evergreen, and Longstreet Academy was closed for good. In 1921, the land where the school sat was sold and the proceeds were used to buy a new piano for the church. The church struggled over the years as membership dwindled, but was always able to regroup after brief periods of inactivity and has made necessary updates over the years to keep the church going. In 1955, Sunday School rooms were added, followed by restrooms in 1975, and central heat and air in 1995. Today, the church still meets regularly.

Behind the church is a cemetery that contains the burials of the Walker Family, as well as other members of Longstreet Methodist church. You can read more about the burials here in the photo gallery below. 


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