St. Marys United Methodist Church, 1858

George Clark brought Methodism to St. Marys in 1799 as a circuit-riding missionary. He organized the first congregation here as St. Marys Methodist Episcopal Church. They met in random locations until the construction of the first church building in 1812. It was a simple wood-frame structure, which had few improvements until the addition of a bell in 1838.

It was replaced by the chapel illustrated here in 1858 and given to the black Methodists who moved it to a site near the current city hall. It was used until it was heavily damaged by a storm in 1949. A portion of the original altar, as well as the bell, were secured by Pastor Lynwood Jordan and can be seen in the chapel today.

Modifications over the years saw the removal of a balcony (perhaps a slave gallery) in 1892 and the addition of a recess in 1913. I was very lucky on Easter Sunday to meet Karen Hoylman, who graciously gave fellow photographer Mike McCall and me a wonderful tour of the place, as well as a peek inside the modern church just next door, built in 1964.

St. Marys Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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