New Lowell Methodist

Clay County
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Org 1845
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Photography by Kathy Gerber

The church you see above was first organized in the early 1840’s in a brush arbor that was replaced by a log church that was destroyed by fire sometime around 1865.  The history states that from that time until 1898,  there was no place of worship so the Methodists and Baptists built the Union Church at Midway and worshiped there as a community church for both Baptists and Methodists. The present Methodist church was built in 1900 from virgin pine and the interior still contains the original pews, pulpit and altar rail.  The community of Lowell was settled about 1820 along the falls of Pataula Creek, which provided water power for several commercial enterprises including a saw mill, cotton gin and grist mill. The community was later known as Garfield.  The church was sited on the banks of Pataula Creek and now sits on the edge of Lake Seminole, formed in 1952 when a dam was built at the convergence of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. 

The property on which the Lowell Church stands now was donated by Hartwell Jones Wash.  In time it was purchased by W. T. Cridille, Sr. who had moved from Green County and married Ada Elizabeth Standley.  In 1900, the land was deeded again to the church and the present structure was completed.  For four generations the Credille and Wash families have been affiliated with this church.  Some other early members were Lewis Hartley, Edgar Redding, E. G. Owens, J. I. Crapps, R. L. Burnett, W. E. Puckett, Erasmus King, J. T. and R. L. and W. T. Standley.  These were some of the earliest settlers in Clay County and many of them are buried in the little graveyard adjacent to the church.

Clay County, in southwest Georgia bordering the Chattahoochee River, was once on the western frontier of the United States. Named for Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky, it was created in 1854 from parts of Randolph and Early counties. The county seat, Fort Gaines, was established in 1816 around a fort overlooking the Chattahoochee River. The fort was built by General Edmund Pendleton Gaines at the direction of General Andrew Jackson to protect settlers during the Creek Indian wars. The site also served as a Confederate fort in 1863. 

There is also an old school next to the church that is now used as a fellowship hall.  The school predates the church since it was built around 1890. Classes were for 10-25 children and the last class was held in 1921.  There are some exterior photos of the school in the gallery photos below. The church is still active with services every Sunday at 9:30 am. 

Be sure to click and scroll the photos below for more information about the church as well as a tour of the beautiful interior.

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