The village of Parrott was founded by John L. Parrott, a Civil War veteran, who was born on a local farm in 1838. The late 1800’s were a time of growth and prosperity in this part of Georgia and railroads were being built all across the state. The Columbus Southern railroad from Columbus to Albany was now coming on stream and Mr. Parrott decided to lay out the town in 1889. He also decided to name it…….Parrott. In December of that year, the first scheduled passenger train ran through the town.
Parrott Methodist Church was formed as a result of a successful tent meeting organized by three visiting Pastors in 1891. The success of the tent meeting convinced the local Methodists that they needed their own church and this was done with 30 original founding members on land donated by Mr. Parrott. The church prospered for many years but then came the decline of the rural villages of Georgia and Parrott is no exception. The population of Parrott is now approximately 550 people and the church is down to a handful of parishioners. Parrott is a charming rural Georgia village and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Thank you for supporting Historic Rural Churches of Georgia and helping us spread the word. Please be sure to sign up to receive new postings on featured churches.
As the leading citizen of the town, Mr. Parrott took a guiding role in designing and furnishing his namesake church. The exterior design was Victorian chapel with a hexagonal corner steeple that rests on a solid, square base. Wooden structures like these were very popular at the end of the 19th century. He and others surely picked the stained glass windows, solid wooden pews and other furnishings. Since then, the meeting house and sanctuary has been well maintained for the last 125 years. The amount of respect and love given the old structure is readily apparent.
This view of the chancel and the podium, flanked by the symmetry of the double doors, the chairs and the beautiful stained glass windows is very dramatic. What a respectful and visual treat in the House of the Lord.
The creativity of the stained glass in combination with the high ceiling and simple beauty of the construction is a stunning and peaceful view. What a wonderful tribute to the local craftsmanship and the personal style of the church’s founder and parishioners.
Here lies John Lewis Parrott, founder of the town of Parrott, as well as the Parrott Methodist Church. John’s parents had purchased 815 acres of local farm land in 1834 and John was born in 1838. He worked on the family farm but his farming career was interrupted by the Civil War. He enlisted in Co. K, 17th Georgia infantry and participated in many battles including Antietam, Gettysburg, The Wilderness and Cold Harbor. He was wounded twice but emerged as a First Lieut. and returned home to the family farm in what was then called Chenube, the Indian Village name. He founded the town of Parrott in 1889 and the church was organized in 1891.
J. W. Tilley founded The Planters Bank in 1912 and was purported by a local source to be the ‘smartest man who ever lived in Parrott’. He was also said to be ‘the first millionaire in Georgia south of Macon’. Quite an accomplishment and the mausoleum is a fitting tribute to his prowess.
There are 689 total interments in the cemetery. Several families are well represented here with the largest being the Tilleys, Pinkstons and Powells. The markers in the cemetery provide examples of the many styles of monuments/tombstones that were favored by middle class Americans during the first half of the 20th century. The shrouded obelisk in the center background was among the favorites.
The church has only a handful of parishioners now…….an altogether too familiar story in rural Georgia these days. This beautiful structure has given joy and spiritual comfort to the citizens of Parrott for 125 years. We must find ways to make sure she lives on.
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My brother-in-law was pastor of this sweet church several years ago. He served the Methodist churches in Parrott and Preston.
The first time I walked into this church, I felt such a warm feeling of love and peace. “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” Although the congregation was small in number, they were loving and faithful. It was a wonderful experience for my sister and her husband.
Thanks for sharing that memory Carol.