Pearson’s Chapel Methodist

Tattnall County
Org 1868
Photography by Randall Davis

We have very little history on the little chapel in the Piney Woods, other than the fact that it was organized and built just after the Civil War in 1868.  The community in that area was known as Altamaha.  It has had three post offices, the first is the building behind the John Pearson house, the second was destroyed, and the third is in Reidsville.  According to local legend, Sherman’s troops camped on the Philips property, just down the road where the ‘hooligans occupied a nearby house and behaved in their typical thieving and senselessly destructive manner’.

We are told that there was a parsonage and a school on these grounds at one time but were torn down by locals who wanted the lumber.  The only other history we have is from a Methodist reference book that states the church was organized in 1868 under the leadership of the Rev. W. M. C. Conley and was named after Elizabeth Richardson Pearson.  It also stated the church was ‘built from big pine trees that had never been drained of turpentine.  The boards are two inches thick and eight inches wide’.  There is a small cemetery on the property that is listed on Findagrave as the Swain-Summerling cemetery

We also have this from a text written in 1908:
The church “Is located in the Southwestern part of the county (Tattnall), between the Ohoopee and Altamaha rivers.  This is a fine country in which reside some the best citizens of Tattnall.   The post office is called Altamaha.  Pearson’s Chapel was organized by Rev. W. M. C. Conley, in 1868.  Its history has been that of the typical country church.  It has been the spiritual source and life of that community.  This Church has a membership of sixty-three.  The house of worship is valued at $500. Its trustees are J. S. Lanier, L. Pearson, B. J. Stripling.  Nearby is located the Altamaha circuit parsonage, valued at $800.  The Sunday school has a membership of thirty-five.  J. S. Lanier is superintendent.  The present pastor is Rev. Gustavus A. Davis, a member of the South Georgia Conference and a graduate of Emory College.  Mr. Davis is an efficient worker and has a bright future in the pastorate.

The little Chapel is in first rate condition and they have services the first Sunday in every month.  Come by for a visit.

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