I was unable to get a better shot of this church as it’s surrounded by a fence and very aggressive dogs. It’s now privately owned, and since there has been vandalism in the area before, I understand the desire to protect it. Though on a different road, it’s virtually next door to Liberty Baptist Church. The historic marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1966 reads: This church had its beginning in 1832, on the plantation of William H. Ramsey, about 4 1/2 miles Southwest of here. There being no Methodist services in the vicinity at the time he and his family moved to this area, Mr. Ramsey built a brush arbor near his home and there held Bible study and worship services. Later he joined with other Methodist families and built a log church 31/2 miles South on the road to St. Marks. They named this church, Lebanon, and some time during the 1840s it was made a regular monthly appointment. In 1856, it was decided to move the church to Grooverville, a more central location, and Malachi Groover made a deed of gift to one acre of land – the present site – to Richard Ramsey, M. W. Linton and W. R. Joiner as Trustees. Mr. Linton sawed the lumber and the carpenters from his plantation built the church edifice. The name of the church was then changed from Lebanon to Grooverville, and it became the largest on a circuit originally composted of Grooverville, Prospect, Hickory Head and Beulah. Three grandsons of Wm. H. Ramsey, the founder of this church, became Methodist ministers in Georgia conferences.
As of 2016, the aggressive dogs were removed from the property in an alleged animal hoarding/welfare case. I sincerely hope that this means good things are in store for the poor dogs and for the future of this historic structure.
I was there yesterday… there is no longer a fence and I was able to get some interior photos. I didn’t know it was privately owned when I came across it, as there weren’t any ‘no trespassing’ signs.
The Grooverville Methodist Church has just changed ownership again! It is still privately owned; now by Howell Watkins. Mr. Watkins is currently trying to restore the church. An Instagram page has been set up so those who wish to be part of this transformation or wish to see this. Please feel free to contact Howell at GroovervilleMethodistChurch@Gmail.com or on the Instagram page found at @GroovervilleMethodistChurch
Wow! I visited there as a child. Valeria Ramsey Lee, granddaughter of William Ramsey was my great grandmother. I was hoping to visit it one day with my kids but I guess that’s not an option anymore. Thank you for taking the picture.
Kristin Lee Hoffman
Oh my! What an amazing history you have with this Church! Please feel free to contact Mr. Howell Watkins who is now the owner of the Grooverville Methodist Church and is currently restoring it. It’s not a practicing church but if you ever wanted to stop by to relive your memories we’d love to help you do so!
The 2 part shutters are a practical adaptation that allow views, block the harsh sun, and promote ventilation…all contributing to the passive aspects of the building. Truly green built, before it’s time. The wood construction is actually a carbon sink, and can help reverse climate change if it were emulated now.
I wish you had been able to go inside and take pictures. Up to about 10 – 15 years or so ago, it was open and services were still being held there. What appeared to be the original oil lamps were hanging from the ceiling and the church bell still rang. I went there as part of a “history” tour for teacher continuing education, and a friend of mine pastored this church for a while.