The Newnan Herald, Friday, May 01, 1925
HISTORY OF FIRST METHODIST CHURCH NEWNAN
The Newnan Methodist church was organized in June 1828, thus becoming the second church denomination in Coweta county. Rev. William Steagall, who was born in 1804, entered the Methodist ministry in 1824, and helped organize and built this little log church near where the cemetery is now situated. In 1829, Rev. Simeon L. Stevens ministered to the little flock of eight souls. In 1830, a better church , about 30 feet square was built on the lot in ……….where the parsonage now stands. The pastor that year was Rev. Richard Q. Winn. In 1831, the beloved W. W. Steagall served the church. With the passing years, as Newnan grew and the church membership increased, the building became too small, so in 1835, during the pastorage of Rev. William E. Evans, the little church was moved to the site of the present Methodist parsonage, enlarged and improved, and known as the ‘old church’ with many hallowed memories clinging around it as we recall the lives of those who made it a very entrance gate to heaven. It was the generous-hearted Major. M. B. Clarke who gave the first silver communion service to the church. Again the fact presented itself that the borders must be enlarged, as the flock had increased, and on Aug 25, 1874, the cornerstone of the present church was laid with great enthusiasm. Long and imposing was the procession, in which marched the Newnan Guards, members of the bar, Good Templars, the Masons, (with Prof M. P. Kellogg, of college Temple, acting as Grand Master) civilians and the Cornerstone Club. Rev. A. M. Thigpen, the pastor, who had …eared himself …only to his own church, but to the entire town, made the address, beautiful in thought and expression. Through the wise leadership of Mrs. Cornelia F. Reese, aided by the faithful women who composed the Cornerstone Club, the lot for the church was purchased. Messrs. Joseph E. Dent, John M. Redwine, Young H. Thompson and Dr. Gabriel L. Johnson composed the building committee, and on these the chief burden the wings of their prayers and sacrifices, and those who reap the benefit of their labors should honor their names. The church was not entirely completed until June 1885, when it was dedicated to the worship of Almighty God, the dedicatory sermon being preached by Dr. Jesse Boring, presiding elder of the district and one of the most gifted and consecrated ministers in the State. A hymn, composed for the occasion by Dr. C. D. Smith, was sung with fervant spirituality by the vast…………… In 1905, the annual conference was entertained by this church – the first in 1873, with………………… the second in 1885, presided over by Bishop Wilson, the third in 1905, with Bishop W. W. Duncan presiding. These great men have all gone to their reward. Rev. W. F. Cook was another of the saintly superanuates who made their home in Newnan awaiting the call to come up higher.
The church has not been blind or indifferent to the great missionary command, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’. Miss Margaret Cook and Mrs. J. B. Cobb have gone to foreign fields from its membership. Miss Ruth Field and James Thoroughman are in training for missionary work – on in Japan and the other in China. To celebrate the centennial of American Methodism, this church gave $29,000 for missions. Through the generosity of the members, money was given to build a church in Kobe, Japan. This Sunday-school gave a piano for Miss Cook’s Sunday school in Hiroshima. May this church be as a city set on a hill, whose light cannot be hid, but shines unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
Following is a list of ministers who served this church: Simeon L. Stevens, 1829; Richard Q Winn, 1830; W. W. Steagall, 1831-2-3; W. W. Steagall, 1834; Morgan Bellah, 1835; John Hunter, 1836; John C. Simmons and A Story 1837-8; John M. Miller 1839; Andrew Neese 1840; Y. F. Tigner 1841-2; Harris Stearns, 1843; John W. Yarbrough, 1844; A. Pennington and R. W. Johnson, 1845-6; Clairborne Trussell 1847; Noah Smith, 1848; Noah Smith and D. J. Myrick 1849, Willis D. Matthews and Wm E. Luey, 1850; John W. Talley and F. S. Brantly, 1851; Geo. C. Clarke and John Simmons 1852; W. A. Smith 1853; Daniel Kelsey 1854; W. H. Evans 1855-6; James Harris, 1857; Edmund P. Burch, 1858; John H. Caldwell, 1859; Chas. A. Fulwood, 1860-1; A……………..good, 1852, R. A. Holland, 1863; Blakely Smith, 1864; J. C. Caldwell, 1865; Peter A. Heard, 1866-7; D. D. Cox, 1868; E. P. Burch, 1869; R. W. Bigham, 1870-1-2; A. M. Thigpen, 1873-4-5; J. H. Baxter, 1876-7; W. F. Glenn, 1878-9-80; Geo. W. Yarbrough, 1881; W. W. Wadsworth, 1882-2-3-4-5; D. J. Myrick 1886; W. R. Foote, 1887-8; C. C. Carey 1889-90; F. G. Hughes, 1891-2-3; R. R. Bigham, 1894; J. A. Timmerman, 1895-6; J. H. Eakes, 1897; W. F. Cook, 1898-9; J. M. White, 1900-1-2; J. R. King, 1903-4-5; J. W. Quillian 1906-7; R. J. Bigham, 1908-9; A. W. Quillian 1911-12; H. M. Edmondson, 1913-14-15; T. J. Christian, 1916-17; L. G. Johnson, 1918-19; Rembert G. Smith 1920-21; J. G. Logan, 1922-23; J. P. Erwin, 1924; W. T. Irvin, 1925.
N. L. Cook
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