Church Spotlight: Lafayette First UMC
Pastor: Rev. John R. Moore
District: Northwest Georgia
Address: 301 South Main Street
La Fayette, GA 30728
Sunday services: Contemporary Service “The Coffeehouse” at
Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.
Traditional Service at 11:00 a.m.
History: On Aug. 10, 1835, the first land lots for the new town of Chattooga, later named LaFayette, were sold and a free lot was given to the "Methodist Church”. A log church was built on this lot and the congregation received in November of that year their first pastor, Christopher Stump.
By Nov. 11, 1840, the new congregation was strong enough to host the Holston Annual Conference. In 1845 they built their first parsonage and were transferred into the Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
The second building was white frame with belfry and two front doors -- one for men, one for women -- as they did not sit together in worship. This was the building that during the Battle of LaFayette in the summer of 1864 was used by Federal soldiers as a horse stable with pews facing each other to make feeding troughs.
A third church, built in 1900 on a different site, was remodeled in 1924. The roof was lifted so it could be brick veneered. When the roof was lowered, the walls buckled thus requiring long bolts to be run across the attic to hold it together.
The present building, completed in 1956, has been updated and remodeled through the years and is located on a city block donated by Dr and Mrs. S. B. Kitchens. In 1980 the latest parsonage was built.
In 1999 an annex for offices, church library, history room and classrooms
was built on the old Post Office site with construction funds provided by Dr. S. B. Kitchens.
A month long 175th anniversary celebration was held in May 2010 with a special emphasis on each of the five Sundays.
On Aug. 26, 2012, an annual Homecoming Service was held with the Reverend David R. Wilson, pastor at LaFayette 1975-77, as guest preacher. Several musical specials were a part of the service, which had the theme "Precious Memories". Members, now living, who joined prior to 1956, were recognized, as were former pastors, staff members and other dignitaries.
As is the Methodist tradition, a covered dish luncheon followed in the Fellowship Hall.
What we do: LaFayette First UMC strives to reach the unchurched in its small community through various programs. A new contemporary service, The Coffeehouse, started in 2011, reaches many in the community looking for non-traditional worship. The church offers a Pre-K/PDO, Foundations at First, a program that continues to grow. The church also hosts both a Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troup. This summer, it partnered with other organizations to provide lunches for children up to age 18, Monday through Friday. Outreach during the fall peaks with our Annual Fall Festival with upwards of a 1,000 in attendance.