Union AME

Quitman County
Org 1885
Photography by Morgan Bryce

Almost Gone But Not Forgotten

We think that this category of Almost Gone But Not Forgotten represents a very important part of Georgia History.  These old treasures buried in the trees are a visible testament to the struggles and the faith of both white and black communities to carve a bare bones living out of the rural Georgia backcountry after the ravages of the Civil War.  We honor those struggles with these photos.  

Located a little less than a half-mile from Union Methodist Church on a dirt road known as Springvale Road in Quitman County. Union A.M.E. is now hardly visible from the road, especially during the spring and summer months.  The congregation, according to the handful of records that exist for this church, was established in 1885 by Rev. Steward Green Harden, Brother Crawford Brown, Brother Peterson Williams, Brother Harry Davis, and Brother Ruben Proctor.

The church’s original location was located next to the cemetery, which was shared with Union Methodist. It burned sometime in the early 20th century and was relocated to its present location further down Springvale Road.  Whatever headstones or markers that were commemorated for church members are long gone or no longer visible.  Other than a small fragment of paper bearing the name Union A.M.E., the only items denoting it as a church on the inside are a pulpit, one long pew, and sticker-style stained glass, which creates unique reflections on the sanctuary floor with what little sunlight pours through the canopy of overgrowth surrounding the structure. 

Records are incomplete for the rest of the church’s history, and the last known pastor was Rev. A. Washington and Presiding Elder Rev. L.W. Wilson.  It is unclear who owns the property now according to the county’s tax record system, and time is running out for this structure as nature is quickly reclaiming her own. In its present state, Union A.M.E. sits as a quiet reminder of a place where people in this small community gathered to worship and congregate.