Andrews Chapel Methodist

Coweta County
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Org 1840
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Photography by Randy Clegg

Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church is located in the rural community of Roscoe, in Coweta County. The church was organized in 1840 in a one room building just south of the present site. The present church is the second one, constructed in 1912. The church was named for Bishop James O. Andrew, whose parents lived nearby. Rev. Andrew is a prominent figure in Methodist history and deserves a few words here. He was elected a Bishop by the 1832 Methodist General Conference, and he moved from Augusta to Newton County to be near what is now Emory College at Oxford, where he was the first chairman of the Emory Board of Trustees.

Rev. Andrew never bought or sold a slave but through the bequest of a Mrs. Powers of Augusta, a twelve year old girl named Kitty became his property. According to the terms of Mrs. Powers will, at age nineteen, Kitty was to be freed and given the option of going to an African colony established for freed slaves in Liberia. When the time came, Kitty wanted to stay with the Andrews. If Andrew freed her, by law she would have to leave Georgia. He then built her a cabin close to his home where she could come and go as freely as possible.

In 1844, Andrew traveled to New York for the annual general conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and had little idea that his ward, Kitty, would become the focal point of a conflict that would split the Methodist church for almost 100 years. Slavery was becoming a major issue within the church, and some northern delegates maintained that a bishop “connected with slavery” was unacceptable. Andrew’s defenders argued that Andrew was an “unwilling” slave owner and therefore not culpable. Eventually, 136 delegates voted for a plan of separation, and fifteen voted against it. From that point on the church split into Methodist Episcopal South and North, which existed until 1939 when the two factions were reunited as the United Methodist Church. The cottage where Kitty lived is now located on the church grounds at Emory College at Oxford.

The interior of the church is a handcrafted jewel and is stewarded by an active congregation. We encourage you to check out the church interior and a few of the cemetery residents in the photos below. The cemetery is impressive and contains Confederate and WW1 veterans as well as many prominent early settlers of Coweta County, founded in 1826. One of these prominent citizens was Arthur Hutcheson (1818-1895), who reposes beneath one of the finest and most unusual headstones we have seen in Georgia. A 2000 survey of the cemetery, commissioned by the church, revealed an additional 130 unmarked graves. Sadly, fifty percent of these were identified as children.

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