Pleasant Hill Methodist
We are told that the last regular church service was held at Pleasant Hill Methodist in 1956, but you would never guess that was the case since the little church in the woods is almost in pristine condition. To put it another way, there have not been regular services at the church for over six decades but the church looks almost pure in appearance, inside and out. We think Pleasant Hill is a remarkable success story and a good role model for what can be accomplished with love, a little money and a group of people who realize the importance of preserving these old rural treasures.
The church was organized in 1879. The property of two acres was purchased for four dollars from the Foye Lumber Company. According to the old deed the property was at the end of Ivey Clarks Mill Dam. Its first pastor was Rev. T. J. Nease. Some early family names connected to the church in the 1880’s and 1890’s were: Clark, Hendrix, Miller, Saunders and Williams. Johnathan Hendrix and Perry Hendrix were among the organizers of the church and helped build the building that stands today.
The renovations that have been made over the years show that the pine log sections on which it once rested have been replaced by concrete supports and the building has been wrapped in vinyl. This has stabilized the foundation and eliminated the need for painting the exterior. The interior is very close to the original and any renovations have been done with a strong sense of original preservation. It is a visual feast and a tribute to the members who appreciate and safeguard the 1879 heritage.
The uplifting moral of the story for us is that Pleasant Hill Methodist is another example of a very remote, rural church that has served the community for over 125 years. These churches can survive with a small cadre of people who maintain the sanctuary and feel a sacred obligation to do so. The church is used occasionally for special events we are told, and there is an annual reunion in October of each year with dinner on the grounds. We applaud the stewardship of this group of people who have taken care of this rural treasure for all these years and will pass it on to future generations. While there are plenty of remote rural churches that have succumbed to abandonment and neglect, Pleasant Hill is a shining example that shows us it doesn’t have to be that way.