Tallapoosa Pentecostal

Haralson County
Org 1890
Photography by Andy Sarge

The Tallapoosa Land, Mining, and Manufacturing Company built many of the buildings in Tallapoosa, and they constructed a new wooden church building near the intersection of Spring Street and West Mill Street for the Methodist Episcopal Church North, which had organized in 1890.  In 1915, the building was moved slightly north to the corner of Spring and Mill Streets. At this time, the Church was enlarged, remodeled, brick veneered, and the cornerstone dated 1915 was added.  The fact that there were Methodist Episcopal Churches North and South in Tallapoosa was the result of the pre-Civil War rift in the Methodist Church over the issue of slavery. There were very few Methodist Episcopal North churches in the south at that time.  In 1939 the North and South congregations were merged as the present United Methodist Church.  Soon after the merger, the Pentecostal Holiness Church of Tallapoosa acquired the former North building and sold their own small church building, located on East Mill Street. The Pentecostal Holiness Church held their first services in the sanctuary in January of 1942. In 2020, the Tallapoosa Historical Society acquired the building, which will now be called the Tallapoosa History Center.

The town of Tallapoosa, located near the Tallapoosa River in West Georgia, was founded in the late 19th century when the Georgia Pacific Railway Company laid tracks in 1882.  The new city was laid out in a 38-block grid for both residential and business lots as part of a planned development by the Georgia Pacific Railway and subsequent expansion by the Tallapoosa Land, Mining, and Manufacturing Company.  Tallapoosa was promoted in the North as the first and only “Yankee City Under Southern Sun” with a larger number of Northern people in proportion to its population than any other city in the South. The company boasted that two-thirds of the city’s population was Northern and that Northerners moving to Tallapoosa “will find a community necessarily northern in its customs, and will see all of the thrift and enterprise that is proverbial of New England manufacturing cities.” 

The exterior of the church, is reminiscent of many others that dot the countryside but be prepared for  a visual treat when you walk into the sanctuary. The remodeling in 1915 included the spectacular woodwork located throughout the sanctuary, that is thought to have been done by German Master Craftsmen who were probably brought down from the north to do the work.  The beautiful ceilings in the sanctuary reflect the amazing skills of those Craftsmen.   Tallapoosa enjoyed great success as a destination resort town in the late 1800s.  The gallery photos below contain a marketing photo of the Lithia Springs Hotel, that began operations in 1892 and flourished until the early 20th century.  Both the Lithia Springs Hotel and the Tallapoosa Hotel were favorite resorts for Northerners during all seasons of the year. The Lithia Springs Hotel was a magnificent tourist hotel containing 175 richly furnished rooms, a banquet hall, billiard parlor, card room, and ballroom. It was connected with a large park that contained a summerhouse and four mineral springs.  Tallapoosa was quite the progressive town in the late 19th century.  It was also known for having the first free public school in Georgia, built in 1892.

Tallapoosa’s unique history will now be featured in the beautiful sanctuary of the old church, where visitors will be able to wander around the magnificent furnishings and woodwork.  We are grateful to the Tallapoosa Historical Society for saving the old church and re-purposing her for more community service.  Be sure to click and scroll on the photos below to learn more about these special interior and furnishings. 

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