Pleasant Grove Methodist

Haralson County
Org 1854
Photography by Andy Sarge

A centennial pamphlet of the history of Pleasant Grove tells us the church was founded as Pleasant Grove Methodist Protestant in 1854. The Methodist Protestant church was established in Georgia in Newton County in 1828.  It was described as “democratic Methodism” because the churches called their own pastors.  Pleasant Grove, the only Methodist Protestant church in Haralson County, was eventually merged with the Methodist Episcopal church that later became the United Methodist church, although not without some dissension. The first church was a log structure with a school beside it.  The beautiful sanctuary you see above was constructed in 1894.  In the 1950’s the church was actually moved “back from the road and turned slightly”.  Other improvements were made in this time frame, but the church has been well maintained by a loving congregation that treasures their history.  Many original elements are retained in the sanctuary.

The land for the church and cemetery was donated by Seaborn Solomon McGarity and his wife, Carolyn Biggers McGarity.  Seaborn’s father, Abner McGarity was born in 1780 in Ireland.  He arrived in Culpeper County, Virginia, and later migrated through the Carolinas, into Elbert County, Georgia around 1797-1798. Seaborn was born in Elberton in 1814 and eventually moved to Fulton County as Atlanta and the railroads were just beginning to blossom.  According to the history, Seaborn thought Fulton was becoming too crowded, so he bought a 15,000 acre landholding at the corner of Paulding and Haralson Counties and started raising a family.  It is interesting to note that in the cemetery, there are 34 interments with the surname McGarity.

The cemetery contains many CSA veterans and the sad stories that emerge from that conflict.  We have been privileged to document many churches across Georgia that were organized prior to the Civil War and we have seen more than a few church minutes taken in the period of 1860 through 1865.  References to the war were rare.  There are many that do not mention the conflict at all, and others that may have a brief referral to it now and then.  We mention this because the cemeteries contain the remains of so many congregants and their families that suffered through this terrible period in our history, and we need to remind ourselves that these were just the survivors.  We have no way of knowing how many never came home again to these spiritual places of refuge. 

Be sure to click and scroll the gallery photos below for more history on Pleasant Grove Methodist.

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