our history

The first church in Clarkesville was the Methodist Church built in March, 1831. Col. James Brannon donated a lot (now the old cemetery) to the Methodist denomination, conveniently located on which to erect a church to be used by all denominations. This donation was entrusted to a Board of Trustees. After this generous gift, other citizens lent a helping hand toward the erection of a building.


The following description has been passed down to us: The lovely church once stood amid the majestic oaks. The walls of the building were white, while the woodwork and old-fashioned benches were in plain drab coloring. A gallery ran along three sides of the church, with one aisle down the center to the pulpit. The two rows of windows gave light during the day and the building was lighted by candles at night which were borrowed from house to house.


In 1859, a committee was appointed to buy or build a parsonage. A house was purchased in the early part of 1860 on what is now known as Washington Street. Then, in 1881, it was decided to move the old church from the location at the cemetery lot and rebuild it on a part of the parsonage lot. This was completed and dedicated in 1882.


A new church building was constructed in 1901 at the same location where the old church stood. A new parsonage was built in 1902 where the old one formerly stood. On Sunday, April 3, 1938, the church burned around 11:35 am after Sunday School was dismissed. The organ, Bible, and a few chairs were saved. During the months that followed, the Sunday School met in the Courthouse, the preaching service in the Baptist Church and the evening service in the Presbyterian Church. By October 1938, a brick church was completed, but a few months later a second fire destroyed the interior of the new building and work had to start over.


Another parsonage was built in 1949. Using materials from the old parsonage, a Sunday School Annex was constructed. In a few months, this wood building burned. The first Educational Annex was then added to the rear of the sanctuary.


Changes in the buildings continued as membership increased to meet the needs of the people. The vestibule was redesigned, new front doors were added; new lights and carpet were installed. Stained glass windows were placed in the church and dedicated in March, 1968. In 1971, construction of a new Educational Building with a kitchen and fellowship hall was begun. A bell tower was added to the brick structure. A Library was established along with the addition of a materials room.


In 1992, we began plans for a new parsonage and remodeled the old parsonage (the Annex) into office and classrooms. Extensive renovations began in 1995, including an addition to the sanctuary.


Our church does not stand still, but continues to change and grow. In the Fall of 2005, we acquired the adjoining bank property and building. After some renovations to meet our needs, the church offices were moved into the new Administration Building. In the Winter of 2013, we acquired the adjoining bank property and building on the opposite side in order to establish The Connection Ministry Center. In September, 2014 the Connection Ministry Center opened its doors for the first time with the introduction of a Contemporary Service that meets weekly at 9:00am in the Connection Ministry Center. Many of our Sunday School Classes, Youth Group, and other ministry gatherings also meet in this building on a weekly basis. This building allows for greater community involvement and use. In the Spring of 2015, after determining that the cost to make necessary repairs was too great, we tore down the old parsonage/annex. Further plans for this space have yet to be determined. 


Through God’s guidance and love, it is our prayer that this church will continue in the present, as in the past, to grow to the honor and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.


For a PDF version of our Church History, click here.


Clarkesville First

United Methodist Church

1087 Washington Street

PO Box 365

Clarkesville, GA 30523

706-754-2677

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