Monday, July 26, 2021

1909 - History of the Methodist Church

1904 - The Union Church

   The history of churches in Taylorville began in 1904 when six families cleared land in what was then called Taylorville to build the first church. Known as the Union Church, it was located near today's Greenwood Cemetery.
   Several faiths, including Methodists, worshipped at the Union Church in alternating services for 15 years.

1909 - History of the Methodist Church

   The First Methodist Church in Groveland was founded in November of 1909.


   It was organized by nine charter members:
      Elliott E. Edge,
      Everitt D. and Cora Sampey,
      Ms. Annie Sampey,
      Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Averitt,
      Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Rice,
      and Mrs. Maude Rice.
   1910 - The first Sunday School at the church is held.
   1914 - A choir is organized with Mrs. Cornelia Edge (wife of E. E. Edge) and Mrs. Cora Sampey as organists.

1920 - The New Building

   In 1920, John W. Beach donated land where a new church building was constructed. It is the site of the present day church.
   A two-story parsonage was constructed next door.
   1927 - First Methodist Church, South (as it was called then), is dedicated.
   1928 - Sunday Schol classroomsalong with a dining room and kitchen were built next to the church.

1934 - Edge Memorial

   At E.E. Edge's death in 1934, being one of nine charter members of the First Methodist Church in Groveland, the church voted unanimously to change the name to the Edge Memorial Methodist Church in honor of his support of the church and Methodist-supported missions, including Florida Southern College.
   Constructed in 1922, the second oldest building on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, was renamed Edge Hall in 1935 to honor E. E. Edge, who was one of the first large donors to the college.
   Edge, and his son Lacy Day Edge, were lifelong members of the church and were also successful business leaders.

   1950 - The Hill Building social hall was built with a legacy gift left by William Hill, a longtime Men's Bible Class teacher.
   1958 - A new education building was dedicated.
   1966 - A newly remodeled sanctuary was dedicated.
   1968 - A new parsonage on Waldo Street was built.
   1978 - Mrs. Annie Sampey Carter, the last surviving charter member, passed away.
   1980 - The church's stained glass windows were restored and installed in the church bays.
   1982 - The church assumed ownership and responsibility for Greenwood Cemetery.
   1991 - The Methodist church joined the Baptist, Lutheran and Groveland Free Church in the first Main Avenue Christmas Stroll.
   1998 - Rev. Jennifer Stiles-Williams was appointed as the first female minister to serve the church.
   2000 - A contemporary service debuts and the parsonage is renovated.
   2009 - The church celebrates its centennial with a variety of activities and services. Marie Roberts organized a memorabilia display.

   List of Ministers:
   1909 - George Henderson
   1912 - Sankey Stevens
   1913 - M.M. Lord
   1914 - George Butler
   1915 - F.L. Crowson
   1918 - H.C. Hardin
   1920 - R.L. Allen
   1921 - W.A. Fischer
   1923 - Howard Dutill
   1924 - J.T. Mitchell
   1928 - W.G. Strickland
   1929 - C.E. Gutteridge
   1930 - W.E. Bryant
   1931 - Philip Trigg
   1933 - C.T. Howes
   1936 - R.F. Hodnett
   1937 - J.A. Hendry
   1940 - Raymond Alley
   1942 - J.E. Shepherd
   1946 - J.E. Bartlett Jr.
   1948 - C.H. Voss
   1951 - C.E. Brantly
   1952 - Robert Clark
   1953 - R.E. Rutland Jr.
   1956 - Dan Gill
   1961 - Ernest Hawk
   1963 - Paul Jones
   1964 - Ed Snow
   1964 - Russell Boaz
   1966 - Ed Snow
   1966 - Jasper Witt
   1970 - David Love
   1976 - Elwn Burke
   1977 - Raymond Sharp
   1982 - John Springer
   1986 - Jeffrey Ramsland
   1992 - David Paul
   1998 - Jennifer Stiles-Williams
   2000 - Marcus Zillman II
   2003 - W. Thomas Pope
   2007 - Donna Manwaring
   2014 - Heather Harding
   2016 - Daniel Ivey
   2020 - Jeff Taylor

[Contributors: Edge Memorial Methodist Church, Jason Brown]

Next Article: 1911-1922 - A Town By Any Other Name - The Beginnings of Groveland - John W. Beach