Silver Creek Methodist is located in the foothills of North Georgia in Floyd County on the banks of Silver Creek, south of Rome. The church was founded in 1869 shortly after the Civil War on three acres of land donated by Dennis Hills “for the use and benefit of the Methodist Episcopal Church South”. Floyd County has experienced much turmoil since its founding on December 3, 1832. In 1838 and 1839 U.S. troops, prompted by the state of Georgia, expelled the Cherokee Indians from their ancestral homeland in this part of Georgia and removed them to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma, resulting in the infamous Trail of Tears. Shortly thereafter, the county experienced much Civil War devastation as Sherman moved toward Atlanta and his March to the Sea.
There is very little early history of the church that has survived, partly because the official church records were destroyed in 1909 when a cyclone struck the home of the church secretary, where the records were kept. As you can see from the early photo below, the church has undergone some significant changes over the years. Sunday School rooms have been added to the north side of the church, and a dramatic steeple was added in the 1950’s. We are told by the church history that the steeple is the result of a gift of one of the church members, Mrs. F. H. Schlapbach. In addition, a bell in honor of her late husband was presented by the Central of Georgia Railroad to Mrs. Schlapbach in honor of her husband for his many years of service. The bell is now in the belfry of the steeple.
The church enjoys an active congregation and we are indebted to them for maintaining this important icon of of Georgia history. The lovely cemetery has many of Floyd Counties early settlers buried there, including a number of Civil War veterans. Be sure to click and scroll on the photos below for more Silver Creek history.
This early, 1950’s photo is in great contrast to the first exterior photo you just saw. The belfried fortress seen in the exterior photograph bears little comparison to the small earlier church. Here we see an attractive but quite plain single gable structure with decorative cornice returns. There are three tall windows on each side of the building. The porch is also gabled and roofed to provide a covered entry. It is hard to believe the Silver Creek church of today morphed out of such a prosaic, original early home. We love it when we are able to present “then and now” photos such as these of Silver Creek.
In this photo, we have come in through the double door and are standing in the rear aisle. Little of the original building interior is still present. But the configuration of the interior remains. A flat ceiling and walls that would have been made of wood are now made of modern materials. We see that all the pews are machine manufactured and probably replaced some original, uncomfortable wooden pews. The coal fired heaters of the past were replaced in the 50’s. But, it was the many, continuing improvements that were made throughout the years to provide creature comforts (indoor plumbing, electricity, etc,) that has kept the congregation coming, growing and remaining with Silver Creek Methodist.
Here we see the attractive chancel area with its oval, turned wooden balustrade and padded prayer rail. We see a modern, curved proscenium that hovers above the apse. The open bible and pulpit are signs of the active nature of this congregation.
This is a view from the pulpit toward the back of the sanctuary. Here we can see the entry doors to the Sunday school to the left (on the north side of the church) and two of the large sanctuary windows to the right on the south side.
This view offers us further evidence that, though Silver Creek is a very old and revered church, it is also active, forward thinking and modern. Here we see that the choir area is filled with instruments and speakers to support a choir as well as congregational singing. This vibrant congregation is determined to remain an important religious center in Floyd County as it has been for over 125 years.
Catherine D. Allcorn was born April 1, 1800 and died February 11, 1896. In the 1880, York County, South Carolina she is listed as 79 years old, born in Georgia, both parents born in South Carolina. She was living with her sister, Elizabeth Allcorn, age 89, also born in Georgia. Elizabeth Allcorn left a will in York County, S. C. which was dated July 14, 1875 and probated October 14, 1880. In her will she left everything to her sister Catherine during her lifetime including 60 acres of land. Mary Jane Young (1834-1889) is shown at findagrave as the daughter of Catherine D. Allcorn. Mary Jane is also buried at Silver Creek Methodist Church Cemetery.
Gideon Jackson Woodruff was born December 9, 1832 and died March 13, 1887. His wife, Olivia A. Burch Woodruff, was born February 14, 1841 and died August 28, 1900. The 1880 Gordon County, Georgia census shows Gideon and Olivia were both born in North Carolina. In 1880 they had nine children ages one to twenty in their household. Olivia was the daughter of Rev. William Woodson Burch (1806-1868) and Mary Jane Austin Burch (1819-1888). Both of them are buried at Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome, GA. Gideon was the son of Samuel Woodruff (1793-1863) and Keziah Burch (1802-1885).
Charles L. Barker was born December 10, 1845 and died July 1, 1889. He married Elizabeth Katherine “Kate” Harmon (1845-1904) on February 7, 1867. He was the son of Dr. Rufus Barker (1810-1887) and his wife, Sophia N. Craven Barker (1826-1870). Both of his parents are buried in Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome. A story in the Chattooga News, August 8, 1889 reported a fire in Rome that started in a shed in C. L. Barker & Co.’s Livery Stable. Fifteen horses perished in the fire including a fine stallion valued at $3000.
Major Jacob Henry Hoss was born July 19, 1804 in Washington County, TN and died December 7, 1890 in Floyd County, Georgia. He moved to Calhoun County, Alabama in 1838 and to Georgia in 1868. He married Sarah Vance Mitchell (1807-1883) March 9, 1830. Sarah is also buried at Silver Creek Methodist Church Cemetery. Jacob and Sarah had six children. Jacob Henry Hoss rebuilt the Old Lindale Mill which he owned after it had was destroyed during the Civil War. It is a brick grist mill and is on the National Register of Historic places. It was previously known as Hoss Mill but today it is known as the Old Brick Mill.
PVT Dennis M. Martin enlisted in Co. G, 22 Regt GA Infantry CSA on August 30, 1861. He died at Petersburg, Virginia in 1862. He was born Dec. 18, 1840 and died May 14, 1862 at the age of 21. The 1860 Floyd County, Georgia census shows Dennis M. Martin, age 19, living in the household with his mother, Catherine Mackey Martin, age 49 and four siblings. His mother, Catherine (1809-1877) is also buried at Silver Creek Methodist Church Cemetery. Dennis M. Martin’s father was Hiram Martin, born about 1810. Hiram and Catherine were both born in North Carolina.
Tennessee Mitchell Leach was born in 1811 in Tennessee and died in 1895. She was the wife of Andrew B. Leach. The 1850, Floyd County, Georgia census shows Tennessee Leach, age 35, born in Tennessee; A. B. Leach, 35, brick mason, born in Virginia; and John Leach, 72, born in Pennsylvania. By the time of the 1870 and 1880 census, Andrew and Tennessee were living in Texas.
Pvt Sandy Henderson’s cemetery marker reads “Co I, 12 ALA CAV CSA”. He was born in North Carolina but was living in Alabama at the start of the Civil War. He was born June 8, 1838 and died October 22, 1892. His full name was Samuel Alexander Henderson. He was married to Margaret Lula Jones (1849-1920). They had 10 children with 8 still living by 1910. Several of their children lived in Floyd County, Georgia all of their lives. Their son, Paul Jackson Henderson, (1886-1968) was in the grocery business in Rome for 51 years and was a member of the First Methodist Church in Rome. He is buried at Myrtle Hill Cemetery.
This church has served the Silver Creek Community for over 125 years. She stands beside the old cemetery containing the graves of many of Floyd County's early settlers.
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I love this little church! I grew up here was baptized in this cold cold creek by my cousin Larry Loyd. Bible school was the best.Thank you for bringing back so many sweet memories.