This church was organized as a Methodist Protestant Church in 1831, in a log structure which was used until 1870, when a clapboard building was constructed. In 1909, the present church building was constructed with John Pearce, Stonewall Bryan and Walter O. Phillips as trustees. The building was reworked in the 1960s, under the guidance of J. D. Spence and J. W. Edwards with donations from many families. Recent improvements include aluminum siding, landscaping, new carpet, pulpit drapes, and a new piano and communion table. Services are held at the church twice a month. The cemetery is still in use by many of the families in this area. The oldest graves were marked in the 1850s and 1860s. Records show that the first graves were in the 1840s. These old cemeteries still contain scraps of history left behind that tell us who built and worshiped in these sanctuaries. Click and scroll on the gallery photos below to get some Tales From the Crypt.
We saw in the opening photo that the Sharon Methodist church structure is a quintessential example of the, single gable, 19th Century churches built throughout the state of Georgia. Taken from the cemetery, in this photo we have a tranquil view of a lovely church in the midst of its old cemetery.
Here we have entered the sanctuary and are standing in the aisle looking over several of the pews toward the north wall and three of the large clear glass windows. As we mentioned in the history, this sanctuary was built in 1909 and reworked in the 1960’s. Though many interior changes were made during the its 110 year plus history, this scene is very authentic and much like it would have been throughout the 20th century. Looking closely to the left, you will be able to see that some of the original pews have been left in the sanctuary adding to its authenticity. 03:
We have now stepped forward from the last shot and are looking at a black and white photo of the same area as the last color photo. Here is reflected what the interior could have looked like many years ago. Note the floor boards of heart pine as are the lovely wooden window frames. Even the gas heater is of a long ago era..
This is a colorful photo of Sharon’s interior taken from the rear toward the chancel and pulpit area. Please take note that the sanctuary’s suspended truss ceiling allows for the ceiling to be raised (without having to use view-disturbing interior columns). This creates a cathedral-like atmosphere within.
This church was built in 1909, reworked in the 1960’s and many interior improvements were made during the last 65 years. In this close-up of the chancel, apse, east and north walls, we can identify elements of the entire history of this sanctuary. The horizontal walls and vertical ceiling boards are original. The semicircular chancel balustrade with turned balusters and kneeling pads were added in the 20th century. The communion table, apse drapes, carpeting and piano are more recent additions. All in all, this 100+ year old sanctuary is in remarkably good condition and a tribute to the excellent stewardship of its congregation present and past.
Located on the chancel, east wall, this charming painting of Jesus and the little children is the only permanent decorative element within Sharon. This is in keeping with the tenants of the Denomination to eschew ostentation.
This view from the pulpit allows us to appreciate the simple beauty of the Sharon sanctuary. The wide, tall, clear glass windows allow ambient light to flow into the church and create a warm and inviting atmosphere as seen in the photo.
We always love it when these old outhouses from the past are still standing. They are a physical reminder of the historical aspect of gathering in these old sanctuaries in the days before electricity or plumbing.
Mary Ann Brown was born April 3, 1831. She married Calvin H. Knighton February 15, 1849 in Stewart County, Georgia. The 1850 Randolph County, Georgia census shows Calvin Knighton, age 23; Mary Knighton, age 20 and Mary Knighton, age 6 months. Ancestry.com shows she had six children before her death on August 8, 1857.
Phillip B. Causey was born January 6, 1795 in Craven, North Carolina. He married Sarah Townsend Laws (1801-1881) September 3, 1822 in Greene County, Georgia. By 1830 he was living in Randolph County, Georgia. The 1850 census shows 11 children. He and his wife are both buried at Sharon Methodist Church Cemetery.
Franklin F. Sims was born January 7, 1831 in Russell County, Alabama. He married Margaret Peggy Omans November 21, 1858. He served in Company F, 45th Alabama Infantry. His pension application states he had lived in Georgia since 1869. It also says he was captured at Franklin, Tennessee and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio. He was released from prison in June, 1865. At the time of his 1911 pension application he owned one mule, one cow and calf, seven hogs, and house and kitchen furniture. He died August 22, 1922. The 1910 census shows they had 7 children with 4 still living in 1910.
Haywood H. Pearce was born in North Carolina in 1820 and died in 1860. He married Mary Adeline Crumbley on Jan. 5, 1840 in Stewart County. He was a wealthy farmer in Randolph County. The 1860 Randolph County census shows H. H. Price/Pearce, age 41, Mary, age 35 and 7 children and the value of his personal estate was $10, 800. The 1860 Randolph County slave schedule shows H. H. Pierce with 10 slaves. Haywood H. Pearce left a will in Randolph County in 1860. An inventory of his estate shows 420 acres of land, Negro man Dave, valued at $1000; N. K. $1500; Hagar, $1200; Martha and two children Allen and Sam, $1675; Milley and child Elizabeth, $1500, Hannah and child Malesey, $1500. There were also numerous other property items listed.
Charles Swift Phillips was born May 16, 1876. He was married to Mattie E. Hillman (1883-1969). In 1880 he is 4 years old, living in Quitman County with his father, John, Mother, Abie, and four other children. The 1910 Randolph County census shows Mattie, age 26, a widow, living with a cousin and three children ages 8, 5, and 2. By 1920 she is married to Will Plowden and is living with him and her three children. Charles S. Phillips died September 21, 1909. His marker contains a Woodmen of the World Memorial. The father of Charles S. Phillips was a Methodist Minister, John/Jehu William Phillips (1846-1926) and his mother was Abigail Pearce Phillips. John/Jehu worked to build the Union Methodist Church in Quitman County and the communion table which he built by hand with wooden pegs. John/Jehu Williams Phillips and his wife, Abigail are both buried at Sharon Methodist.
Erasmus Randolph Ware was born April 26, 1852 in Stewart County, Georgia and died July 18, 1922. His wife Vitura E. Pearce was born August 22, 1854 and died December 12, 1903. They were married in 1874 and had 6 children with five still living in 1900. He remarried about 1905 and had at least one more child.
Walter McDaniel Rosser was born January 4, 1856 and died in his sixth year. He was the son of Rev. James Aaron Rosser (1834-1912) and Temperance Ziegler Rosser (1832-1889). His parents were married in Screven County, Georgia April 8, 1855. His brother, Luther Ziegler Rosser (1857-1923) was a prominent Atlanta Attorney who served as president of the state bar association. Luther Ziegler Rosser was the chief counsel for Leo Frank in the Mary Phagan murder trial.
Sarah J. Sharley was born in Georgia January 15, 1835. Her maiden name was Sarah J. Pearce. Her parents Everett E. Pearce (1798-1874) and Rebecca Cooper Pearce (1812-1890) are both buried at Sharon Methodist Cemetery. Her husband, James S. Sharley, (1846-1872) is also buried at Sharon Methodist Cemetery. The 1880 Randolph County census shows Sarah J. Sharley had five children living. Sarah J. Sharley died June 10, 1887.
Dickson F. Pearce was born April 15, 1822 in Johnson County, North Carolina. He died August 18, 1864. He married Martha A. Maddox (1835-1899) on January 11, 1852 in Randolph County, Georgia. They had six children. He was a brother of Haywood Pearce. The Pearce family was prominent in this community as reflected in the quality of the headstones and the wrought iron fencing.
James R. Pearce was born May 31, 1845 in Quitman County, Georgia. He married Sarah Carswell in 1871. The 1900 census shows them living in Randolph County. Four children had been born to them and all four were still living in 1900. James R. Pearce died December 4, 1902. In 1920, their daughter, Eva Florence Pearce applied for a passport to travel to England, Scotland, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy. The purpose of the trip was educational. She attended Columbia University and was professor of English at Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia. In 1959 she was Dean Emeritus at Brenau College. She died July 11, 1966.
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Is this church located in Randolph Co., Alabama?
Georgia. There is a map on the website church page.