Philadelphia Wesleyan Church, 1904, Hortense

From the congregational history: In the year 1900 a church was organized at the old Sawgrass School outside of Hortense GA. The “Sawgrass” Church was started as a response to a revival held in the area by Rev. J J Williams.  

In 1904 property across the street from the school was donated to the church. The first building, and still current worship area, is pictured to   the left. Although the nickname “Sawgrass” is how many still know the church, from 1904 on the official name of the church was Philadelphia Wesleyan Methodist Church. 

For a period of time Philadelphia was part of a “circuit”, a group of four churches that were pastored by one person. In this case, Philadelphia was on a circuit with Browntown Wesleyan Methodist, Hortense Wesleyan Methodist, and Oak Grove Wesleyan Methodist. 

In 1968 the Wesleyan Methodist and Pilgrim Holiness denominations merged. As a result, the name of the church became Philadelphia Wesleyan Church. 

The following pastors have led Philadelphia Wesleyan through the years: F L Thornton, W B Lee, M M Strickland, J D Patterson, A G Cornelison, J C Clubb, W B Clubb, F H Harris, H R Gumby, W T Brinson, G H Doty, C M Payne, W L Snellgrove, E L Elford, Rev. Alexander, W G Wagnon, W V Hartley, R C Mathis, Henry Sapp, Thomas Lentz, David Horne, and Ron Stayman. In 2016 the Lord brought our current Pastor, Tim and Karen Johnson, to Philadelphia. 


Filed under --BRANTLEY COUNTY GA--, Hortense GA

2 responses to “Philadelphia Wesleyan Church, 1904, Hortense

  1. Karen Harlow

    I thought I left a comment earlier, but I don’t see it. Didn’t realize they still have services here. My Grandfather’s Father was one of the early Pastor’s, M.M. Strickland. I remember my grandfather talking about this church. Sometimes I go to campmeeting in Hortense when I can. My mother told me of many happy times she had at campmeeting as a girl. Thanks for your website.

  2. Karen Harlow

    I’m so glad I stumbled across this website.. I remember my grandfather talking about this church and his Father, who was M.M. Strickland, one of the pastors. On occasion, when I can make it, I will come to Hortense for Campmeeting. It is where my Mother spent some wonderful times as a girl.

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