The beautiful sanctuary you see above is stunning in its architecture and craftsmanship. The church is built in the Queen Anne Style, made popular around the period 1875 – 1900. Some of the characteristics of this style were asymmetrical facades, decorative wood trim, cross gables and towers or turrets. Sharon Methodist is a wonderful example of the style and very unusual for such a rural location. We think Sharon Methodist is one of finest examples of rural architecture in all of Georgia, and you won’t be disappointed with the interior photos either. It is a visual feast.
Sharon Methodist Church is a “descendant” of Raytown Methodist church, which is acknowledged in a history written by Christine Davidson Brown in 1972. In the introduction to the general church history, she states that Sharon Methodist must “gratefully and lovingly acknowledge their debt to Raytown as the ‘Mother Church’.” The first Raytown church was built in 1845, although Methodists met in various places before that date. The present Raytown structure was built in 1890. Raytown Methodist is where Sharon Church founders first attended and where they received the inspiration which allowed them to organize and carry on a church.
The Sharon Methodist congregation organized on September 24, 1886, with 38 members. The first land record deeding land to the church is dated November 1, 1890; $700.00 for four acres, which is approximately two miles from the Raytown church. A meeting house that served the congregation for a little over twelve years was constructed. Under the leadership of Benjamin Graham and William Pressley Lovejoy, the erection of a new church building was carried out in the first years of the 20th century. The original petition, undated but believed to date from 1902, still exists : “We, the undersigned, promise to pay, at our earliest convenience, the amount opposite our names for the purpose of building a new house of worship for the M.E. Church, South, in Sharon, Geo; and should a new church building be erected then the present house of worship will be used for an devoted to school purposes.” No written records of the dedication date for the new church can be found, but the final payment which satisfied all building costs is dated November 2, 1903. A Mr. Norton of Crawfordville is reported to have been the contractor to have built the new church.
Not very far away are two other very historic churches. Locust Grove Catholic, organized in 1792 is the oldest Catholic church in Georgia, and South Liberty Presbyterian was organized in 1820. The present Catholic church was built in 1884, while the present South Liberty Presbyterian church was built in 1877. Sharon was one of the many towns created by the railroads that were built in Georgia in the mid 19th century. It is well worth a visit to this picturesque part of rural Georgia. Sadly, the Sharon Methodist church is no longer active, but she seems to be well maintained. She is a historical treasure.
A closer look at the details of the church construction reveals many of the Queen Anne features., the most obvious being the large turret incorporated into the main entry. The asymmetrical entry and the ventilated turret with offset windows are very unusual, as is the decorative entry way that has many decorative features, including eight small columns.
Here is another view of the church exterior that reveals another very unusual design feature. It is a smaller truncated, windowless turret that provides the church with a small room opposite the main entry.
Here is a closer view of the offset main entrance opposite the small room located under the smaller turret. The four rectangular windows with transoms are a visual treat and one of the main light sources for the sanctuary. The use of soft color, suspended chandelier, with matching casing and wainscoting provides a remarkable visual feature that also incorporates some of the rural countryside.
Another view of the sanctuary from back to front that features the inline suspended chandeliers, and the beautiful customized pews arranged to accommodate the classic double aisle flow pattern.
Here is a more expansive view of the arched main entrance that features an arched wooden tongue in
groove ceiling and illustrates the flood of natural light that is enhanced by the window arrangement.
The sanctuary is highlighted by the three centered arched ceiling. In keeping with the exterior architecture, the alter and apse are asymmetrical - the choir is recessed on one side of pulpit, opposed by an alcove with a cased opening.
The nave and sanctuary feature tall double-hung windows with transoms in groups of four. A single window with transom flanks the main window clusters on each side. The use of soft coloring, with white window and door casings really stand out in the sanctuary. The abundant natural light that blends in with the ceiling and wainscoting gives the eye a soft contrast to the dark coloring of the pulpit and prayer rail.
The small offset choir loft is another unique feature of the interior. Notice the lighting that was built into the loft to facilitate reading of the hymnals and is in stark contrast to the dark pulpit and chancel. Also notice the entrance door that is also built into the loft.
Robert Tomlinson Kendrick was born November 19, 1830 and died January 16, 1916. His wife, Caroline Garrett was born May 27, 1841 and died March 17, 1920. They were married in 1868. His first wife, Frances Ellen Summer was born in 1828 and died in 1868. He represented Taliaferro County in the state legislature. He was a sergeant in Company D, 3rd Regiment, Georgia Cavalry.
The monument for Charles Roth has the date March 12, 1895. It appears to show military service. There was a Charles Ludwig Theodor Roth born May 12, 1848 who died March 12, 1905 and is buried at Sharon Methodist Cemetery. The 1900 Taliaferro County census shows he was born in Germany and immigrated to this country in 1867. He was a railroad section foreman. His wife was Mary Susan McAlpin Roth (1862-1940). Her death certificate lists Charles Roth as her husband and George McAlpin and Susan Pendergrass as her parents.
Alonzo Theodore Gilbert was born June 17, 1849 and died January 13, 1915. His wife, Anna Hill, was born March 4, 1849 and died June 26, 1933. Anna’s father, B. C. Hill, was killed May 4, 1863 at Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was in Company B, 48th Infantry, CSA. The 1910 Taliaferro County census shows Alonzo’s occupation as blacksmith. It also shows his father was born in England and his Mother was born in Virginia.
Ruth Cason Pool was born November 27, 1817 and died November 28, 1909. Her husband, Arden Rucker Mershan, was born June 5, 1803 and died June 15, 1856. They were married January 6, 1840. The 1850 Warren County, Georgia census shows Adden, age 43, with occupation teacher. Ruth was 33 years old with 4 children ages 2 to 8 in the household. Arden also served as ordinary of Warren County.
Frances Elizabeth Harmon Ferguson was born September 11, 1829 and died March 14, 1907. Her husband was Dr. Socrates Gameliel Ferguson who was born October 10, 1821 and died October 19, 1887. Socrates was for many years a physician in Lincolnton, Georgia. He served in Company I, 3rd Regiment, Georgia Cavalry during the Civil War.
Cynthia Lizzie Brown was born November 3, 1849 and died January 16, 1910. She was the wife of John Roberson Kendrick born May 22, 1846 and died August 13, 1926. They were married March 8, 1871 in Warren County. In 1900 she had given birth to 6 children with 5 still living. His pension application stats he was wounded in the head and had index finger shot off. He was permanently disabled. He served in Company K, 1st Regiment, Georgia Volunteers. He died of tuberculosis.
Edward L. Bufford was born March 7, 1868 and died April 11, 1899. He was a fireman for the Georgia Railroad when he was hurt in a wreck. He was pinned in the wreckage when the engine ran into a flat car and he did not survive the accident. The Advocate-Democrat, Crawfordville, Georgia, April 28, 1899 reported “A sad scene was that of the intended bride of the late Mr. Ed Bufford who fainted at the grave”.
Aaron David Kendrick was born September 11, 1839 and died November 17, 1922. Catherine Amanda McCord Kendrick was born January 8, 1839 and died December 11, 1914. He enlisted in September, 1862 in Resaca, Georgia in Company I, First Georgia Reserves. He served in the Quartermaster Department and was captured in November, 1864 and paroled in June 1865. They were married in 1865. At the time of her death she was survived by two sons.
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Hello my name is Teresa Combs, I am researching my maternal genealogy. While searching, I found a note that my second great-grandmother Babe Hatney was buried at the Friendship Methodist Church Cemetary in Talferrio County. This would be anywhere between 1800 to 1900s. Her husband was Will (or William) Hatney. I recall my grandmother (Daisie Hatney) talking about going to the Methodist Church and enjoying the school, and her father Will Hatney as the choir director at the church. What was interesting was that he taught music using “shape notes”. I’m searching so if this is the correct church (that may have changed name) I am wondering if the church maintained Furneral cards from the early 1980′ to the early 1900s.
Thank you for considering this request.
Hello Teresa…thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for you, but someone who reads this comment might know the answer. We wish you luck in your research!
New to area and was wanting to know if you have in person service and what time.