On September 29th, 1877, William Brown donated approximately 1 acre of land for the "use and benefit of the Methodist Church," on which a plain little church was to be built. When the construction was completed, the church and adjacent cemetery were both named "Pleasant Hill." Besides functioning as a church, the sanctuary was used for a school house for well-known Atlanta educator Ida Williams' classes. In the many decades following the construction of the church, (which was re-named Paces Ferry United Methodist Church in 1968,) there were changes: some hotly debated, some eagerly welcomed. But the devotion of members to this small church remained steadfast and strong. Despite the fact that for many years there was not a full time minister, Paces Ferry UMC's faithful continued to pull together to keep William Brown's vision alive. In the 1950s, a Pastor painted the doors red, and the church adopted the motto
"The Red Doors Of Faith."
In 2010, the Thomas Johnson Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII researched the church and dedicated a plaque outlining the history of the church and cemetery. Here's the church in 2011:
In 2018, when Steve Unti retired from his 18 year Lay Ministry at the church, the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church decided to close Paces Ferry UMC. Marie Macadam, Tom Perdue, and Fentress Seagroves stepped up to comprise a new Board in order to keep the church doors open. Reverend Theresa Coleman was named as Paces Ferry UMC's preacher, and a new membership drive was underway.
Fortunately, the church is blessed with a wealth of talented members and friends who are leaders in various fields, but unified in their goal to continue Paces Ferry's Christian ministry. Paces Ferry United Methodist Church is in the North Georgia College Park District, which is served by Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, and District Superintendent Dr. Bernice Kirkland.
Long needed improvements will be completed when funds become available. For instance, the old heating and cooling units were recently replaced with a new, digitally-programmable HVAC system, though care was taken not to disturb the look of the church's interior. The Historic Preservation Committee, made up of church members and neighborhood friends, is working to complete the nomination process to have the Paces Ferry UMC and Pleasant Hill Cemetery placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
[ If you know of any historic pictures or materials related to the church and the cemetery,
please contact Elaine Bolton at firstname.lastname@example.org .
She and the Committee would appreciate the loan of such materials, which will help in process of completing this nomination.]
The future of Paces Ferry United Methodist Church and Pleasant Hill Cemetery is in honoring our past. These beautiful grounds are a glimpse back in time when Buckhead was simple farm land, the church was the core of the community, and everybody knew everybody. Film producers have featured the church in movie scenes because of its look and feel; but the best way to experience Paces Ferry United Methodist Church is to simply come visit!
At the moment, our Sunday Services are at
9:30 a.m., and of course, all are welcome.
You will experience a traditional Methodist service with well-known hymns and simple piano accompaniment, traditional creeds and prayers, scripture readings, and an inspiring sermon from
Reverend Theresa Coleman..
Before or after the service, you can take a look at the cemetery where William Brown himself is buried.
And you'll probably want to "run down back" to see the education building, which was built in the 1950's by members themselves in place of the big barbeque pit that was the source of funding for the Sunday School. It has two tiny bathrooms with a little bit of water pressure, because when the sanctuary was built, in-door plumbing was simply unheard of! However, we've got plans in the works to improve that situation ........when the funds roll in.
To God Be The Glory. We hope to see you soon.