The roots of Jefferson First United Church lie in the “Methodist Society,” which met in the homes of individuals. This was around 1800, about the same time Jackson County was established and Jefferson named the county seat. The first church building was located where the Woodbine Cemetery now exists. It was dismantled and rebuilt at it’s present location in 1845 and was the only church in Jefferson until 1858, when the Presbyterian Church was built. Local Baptists organized their church and met in the Methodist Church in 1866.
This second building was replaced around 1900. A fire in 1924 completely destroyed the third building. Only a Communion Service, kept at the home of a church member, was saved. Our current building was constructed the following year. It contains the sanctuary, classrooms, offices, a library, and choir room. Another building, the Bruce Langford Fellowship Hall, was constructed in 1982. It contains additional classrooms, a conference room, a kitchen, and a dining area/auditorium.
The Jefferson First United Methodist Church has a rich heritage. Its history is filled with people who have given of themselves in so many ways. We are proud of our faithful members who have gone before us! We continue to strive to be faithful to our own callings. We understand we are the church of the present. What we do today is strongly influenced by those who have gone before us, and will greatly affect those who will come after us. We struggle to remember that all we do in this place, we do in the name of Christ and for the sake of furthering His Kingdom.
Why is there a grave in the parking area?
The grave in the parking area between the two church building contains the remains of William Duncan Martin. Mr. Martin, who died in 1859, attended the church and in his will he left the church 40 shares of Georgia Railroad and Banking Company stock. The will stated that the stock was for “…the benefit of the Methodist Society at Jefferson and the interest to be applied to support in part the Ministry to the Society and the landscaping, improving, and decorating with shrubbery and otherwise the plot of ground upon which the Methodist Church building is located.” There was a condition to this bequest, however. In his will he also stated that he wished to be buried in the northeast corner of the church lot. If this request was not granted, the stock would go to Jefferson Academy instead.
The grave is enclosed with a wrought iron fence with a stone marker erected over the grave. Engraved on the marker are the words:
Remember man as you pass by,
As you are now, once was I,
As I am now, so you shall be,
Prepare for death and follow me.
If you are just passing through our area or are looking for a church home, we cordially invite you to visit and worship with us! We are a church with a small town warmth and hospitality.