Monticello United Methodist Church, 1895

This beautiful church was vacated in 1960, when the congregation constructed a newer facility for their growing membership. It was sold and was later used for a funeral home, the Jasper County Library, and by another non-denominational church . The wing on the right side was a later addition to accommodate offices and a Sunday school. Scott McElheny writes that it was purchased in the early 2000s with hopes of restoration for use as an events center but due to myriad stumbling blocks this never materialized. I have no idea what the plans are for this structure, but it seems a waste to let it just stand empty. Maybe a cultural or arts center would be a good use for the city of Monticello to explore; anything would be better than its present dilemma.

The congregation is one of the oldest in Jasper County. The cemetery dates to 1805 and visitors are welcome to explore the beautiful headstones, statuary, and wrought iron Victorian fencing.

Monticello Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

7 thoughts on “Monticello United Methodist Church, 1895

  1. Laray M. Kelly

    Brian, my grandfather Ray M. Persons, was the funeral director in the church in 1960. He was so excited about having the opportunity to use the church, but sadly, he passed away the next year.

    1. Mary Christine Talmadge

      Laray, my grandparents B.L. Talmadge and Pauline Pope Talmadge loved that church and I was there many times as a child. I restored their old home on Calvin Road and had it placed on the Historic Registry in 2009. Would like to find out more about the church and see if there is anything I can do to help.

  2. Jean Selph

    What a beautiful old church! And such a shame to see it just keep deteriorating. We saw this church on a recent motorcycle ride and had to stop and take photos.

  3. Ashley

    Thank you for sharing, I love this beautiful old church and have always wondered why it remains empty. Curious, I noticed at my last visit that all of the headstones in the cementary have been replaced with new ones and I was so curious to know the story behind this. Thanks for sharing, love your site!

  4. Scott McElheney

    Just to clarify: This church was built in the 1895 to replace a previous building that was destroyed by a tornado. It was not “abandoned,” as stated, but rather sold after the congregation moved to the present United Methodist church building in 1960. In the ensuing years it served as a funeral home, the county library, and as a house of worship for a non-denominational church.

    The original stained glass windows in the sanctuary were removed, placed in storage and eventually installed in the chapel of the current United Methodist church. Likewise, the chandelier – a gas-burning unit converted to electricity – was removed from the “old” church and installed in the “new” church as well, first in the narthex and eventually in the chapel.

    The current owners began renovations in the early 2000s, with the goal of transforming the building into an events center, but financial and health issues stymied their progress. The adjacent cemetery is still owned and maintained by the local United Methodist church.

    1. Brian Brown Post author

      I’m surprised at your sensitivity to this post. I appreciate your clarifications and will include them, but all I saw was an abandoned structure. I travel to every county in Georgia and photograph what I find beautiful and interesting. Much of the information comes from people like you who live in the communities I photograph. I meant no offense by the word abandoned, but honestly, anyone seeing the structure would assume the same. It IS a shame that the church is in its present shape. Perhaps someone else can “save” it in the future.


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