Glendale Chapel Methodist

Floyd County
Org 1875|
Photography by Gail Des Jardin

Glendale Chapel Methodist is a story of love and redemption. It is also the beginning of a long and beautiful journey of restoration begun by Annie Shields and Pat York, who acquired the property in 2012. We are featuring Glendale Chapel on our website and our book as a work in progress and one that deserves our gratitude for extraordinary stewardship. We will update you from time to time on the Little Church in the Wildwood. Meanwhile, to give Glendale Chapel some support and follow Annie and Pat’s journey on the Glendale Chapel Facebook page click here. The history below is submitted by Annie Shields. Pat York and Annie Shields’ elation at being the new owners of a lovely farm in Big Texas Valley was somewhat dampened by the fact that at the very edge of the pasture, just yards beyond the property line, was an old church in sad condition. A conference with the church’s owner and an offer to buy and restore it was brief and unproductive.That was in 2001. By the time the church and the 12 acres it occupies were offered for sale in 2012, due to the death of the owner, Pat and Annie had had plenty of time and opportunity to learn some of the fascinating history of this Floyd County church before finally purchasing it. The slaves who were freed in the Big Texas Valley area, home to some of the biggest and most productive plantations in Northwest Georgia, knew that a sense of community was key to survival in this new era of emancipation and uncertainty. A church was needed, one that could do double duty as a school, a real building to replace the bush arbor that had served that purpose in the past. A kind land owner, one of the Fouche family after whom Fouche Gap is named, offered to deed ¾ acre to the congregation as a location for their church. A fire thwarted their first attempt to build, but undeterred, they made a second building in 1879, naming it Glendale Chapel. The men cut down white oak trees to be used as sills. You can see the axe marks where they squared off the logs, and sawed planks were used for the walls. It still stands today, but only just barely. The Reverend Green Johnson and his wife Rachel were the creative force and inspiration behind the building and stewardship of the new church. Members of the Johnson family were active in the congregation for all 87 years it was in use. We are fortunate that, Annie Johnson, one of Green and Rachel’s grandchildren, wrote a history of the church, recording major events, dates of changes made to the building and names of clergy who preached there. Dwindling membership caused Glendale Chapel to merge and become a part of the Metropolitan Church in Rome in 1966, though funerals and homecoming gatherings were occasionally held there as late as 1988. As an empty building, it soon fell prey to vandals who removed pews, oil lamps, a wood stove and the church bell. Fortunately, the new owners, Pat and Annie have met and talked with Annie Johnson, daughter of the Annie who wrote the church history. A spry woman in her 80’s, she has an excellent memory and has provided details about what the church was like when she was a student and member of the congregation there. She describes happy gatherings of shape-note sings, weddings and family anniversaries. Recently, when one of the original pews turned up, it was taken to nearby Coosa High School where a class of young carpenters made eight copies to be used on the happy day that Glendale Chapel has been fully restored and stands as it once did in its glory days.

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