Epworth UMC was the first Methodist Episcopal church founded in the state of Georgia after the Civil War. The congregation was founded on June, 25, 1865.
In 1872 the Spring of Faith moved, as an answer to prayers by the faithful. (Further information below under Spring of Faith.)
1896 the current Church Building was erected in 1896 as the Attala Seminary. When the seminary outgrew the building they moved to the Epworth campus (currently home to Reinhardt College / North Georgia College) and gave the building to the congregation.
1930s the Church building was modified by adding a steeple and main entrance on the north side of the building.
2009 the original 1896 Church Sanctuary was restored with the help of architect Milan Vancura, and rededicated on July 19th.
For history buffs, more information is located below:
The historic Church:
Epworth United Methodist Church was founded June 25, 1865 by the Reverend Alexander Haren. It was the first Methodist Episcopal church founded in Georgia following the end of the Civil War. The church first met in a small school building and was called the Flint Hill Methodist Episcopal Church.
The church at Epworth was an important part of the camp meetings throughout the 1800s. The park and area around the present day church were then called the “Fightingtown Campground”. The camp meetings featured many of the fire-brand preachers of the day, including many of our early pastors, and welcomed the faithful from all around the region
The current building was erected in 1898 as the Atalla seminary/school. In 1904, when the seminary outgrew the building, it moved to its newly built seminary building on the hill across the road, giving the old building to the church. Descendents of the founding pastor and founding church members are still part of the congregation today.
With the far reaching effects of those “brush arbor” meetings, followed by the many educational opportunities of the Epworth Seminary (1904 – 36), Epworth UMC can say with the Psalmist,
“The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage”. Psalm 16:6
The Spring of Faith
The granite marker near the spring describes the historic event:
“During the camp meeting days of the 1800s, this spring was the source of water for the campers and their horses and cows. The spring was on private property and the owner built a fence around it, leaving the campers without water. The people prayed that water would be supplied. That night, during a severe storm, the spring moved outside the fence to the church property.”
The story of the spring has been documented in the family bibles of those who were there and is a story handed down through many generations in the Epworth community. It is noted in one account that the spring moved during the camp meeting of 1872. Even in the worst drought, the spring has never run dry. The spring is cared for in perpetuity by the congregation of Epworth UMC. Its water is used for baptism. It is located just across the street from the church, across from the Epworth UMC Community park.
The site of God’'s miracle and answer to the prayers of the faithful, the Spring of Faith is the location of our Easter Sunrise service where we celebrate God’s greatest miracle, the resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ.