Sugar Valley Methodist

Gordon County
Org 1857
Photography by Sam Ratcliffe

From the North Georgia Conference Methodist Archives – “On January 10th, 1857, Joshua Daniel by warranty deed, granted to James D. Gaines, L. D. Cole and William H. Black as trustees of the Methodist Church and to the same persons as trustees of the Sugar Valley Lodge of the Knights of Jericho three (3) acres of land with the forfeiture clause to the effect that in the failure to maintain a church on that tract of land they would forfeit all rights and interest to same.”

The church was then located in the center of the original village of Sugar Valley.  The town was burned by the Federals during the advance on Atlanta.  It is located in the Southwest section of Gordon County on the old Dalton – Rome Road.  “It was down this road that the Union Forces traveled on their way to Atlanta, in the war between the States.  General Hood was carried by here after he was shot.” 

When the building was first built, it had two stories.  Church services were held on the first floor, and the Order of the Knights of Jericho, a temperance organization, had its Lodge Hall and held meetings on the upper floor.  The Knights of Jericho was not directly connected to the church.

The early  church minutes, as usual, have some interesting entries regarding member transgressions.  For instance the 1883 minutes reference “Charges were brought against four of the Brethren for drinking and two sisters for dancing and a case made against Brother James Stansbury for playing the fiddle in a ballroom.  He confessed his wrongs and said he wanted to live a better life.  Two girls were charged with going to parties”

On the bright side, we find that “These folks lived by the bible, and brought up their families in the way of the Lord. It is significant to note that there has been no recorded crime, divorce or major act of violence among any member of this church, from its origin to date. Truly an example of the effectiveness of the preaching of the Gospel.”

There is a very historic cemetery at Sugar Valley, containing the remains of many of Gordon County’s original settlers.  Be sure to click and scan the photos below for more Sugar Valley Methodist history.