Photography courtesy of Gail Des Jardin

Photography courtesy of Gail Des Jardin

 

Wrightsboro Methodist   Circa 1773

The Wrightsboro Methodist Church is located on a small hill in a fascinating historic setting.  On this site in 1754, Edmund Grey, founded the Quaker town of Brandon.  At this time, the area would have been inhabited by Native Americans and not open to legal settlement.  In 1768, following the Treaty of Augusta which ceded this land to the swelling tide of European settlers, forty thousand acres of land was given to Joseph Mattock and Jonathan Sell by Royal Governor James Wright, who were also Quakers.  A thousand acres of this land was set aside for the Town Proper, which was later incorporated as the city of Wrightsboro in 1799.  The first meeting house would have been constructed at about this time, and some records show that two buildings were built and burned before the church now standing was constructed. 

The current structure was built between 1810 and 1812 by the selling of public subscriptions and land.  The Georgia General Assembly granted the commissioners of the town of Wrightsboro permission to sell three 50 acre lots and use proceeds of up to $500 to build a house of worship for all Christian Denominations to hold services.  We are still searching for records that would have belonged to one of these early congregations , but they appear to have vanished with time.  Available records pick up in 1877, which is when the public church was deeded to the Methodist Church.  The Methodists asserted that they used the church most often, and that the property would be best served if ownership was transferred to them.  The community agreed and handed the church and two acres over to the Methodist Church South.  By 1964, the Methodists had disbanded after being active for over 125 years and the ownership reverted back to the public as McDuffie county became caretaker. 

Ancestors of prominent Georgia families are buried at Wrightsboro Methodist, including the ancestors of Asa G. Candler –  founder of the Coca-Cola company and mayor of Atlanta from 1916 to 1919.  An early Quaker burial ground is about a mile east of this church on a hill overlooking a small creek.  Only rough field stones mark the graves. While the town of Wrightsboro is no longer an active community, the immediate area houses some of the most interesting historic structures and stories in the state.  We encourage you to drop by and spend some time – you won’t be disappointed.  To learn more about the history of Wrightsboro click here

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17 Thoughts

  1. Jenny Disque · April 16, 2017 Reply

    Imaging can be done to determine where and approximately how many people are buried there. I know the city of Thomasville, Georgia used imaging in there “Old Cemetery”.

  2. Martin Arredondo · January 7, 2016 Reply

    Jonathan Soelle (Sell) was my 5th GGF. I decend from his son Thomas’ line. My mother is a Sell. Interestingly none of the Sells are listed as being interred there. What little history I do have I’ve read Thomas fell out of favor with the Quakers and then maybe back again. Would be nice to find graves or anything associated with the Sell line. I’ve seen very little, graves or pictures, anything.

  3. Sue Jones · July 4, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for highlighting this wonderful church. I visited about 8 years ago, because most of my father’s ancestors were from the Wrightsboro area. Some are buried in marked graves, but I’ve often wondered how many are buried in unmarked graves in the cemetery.

    • churchadmin · July 4, 2015 Reply

      Sue, good question that will never be answered. The older the cemetery the higher the number of unmarked graves. Most of them started out with a wood marker or a small field stone marker but they have disappeared over time. Granite and Marble markers came along later and got more elaborate as time went by and the congregants acquired more wealth. Thanks for you interest.

  4. Robert Phillips · September 5, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for featuring Wrightsboro Methodist Church. My great-great grandparents, H. O. and Nancy Williams, and my great-grandparents, Erastus and Frances Williams, were members of the church and are buried in the cemetery.

  5. Elizabeth Vance · October 8, 2013 Reply

    The early records were destroyed in a fire, I believe. An ancestor of Joseph Maddock gives a wonderful tour of the Wrightsboro Historic District if you are ever interested.

    • HRCGA · October 9, 2013 Reply

      We are interested. Would love to do that and some of our viewers might as well. How would we go about it?

      • Elizabeth Vance · December 17, 2013 Reply

        Sorry, I didn’t see this reply until today when I came to check out the latest Facebook post… You can contact me about touring the Wrightsboro area. I’m actually the tourism director in McDuffie County. 706-597-1000, ask for Elizabeth

        • churchadmin · December 18, 2013 Reply

          Thanks Elizabeth. Are there some other historic rural churches in McDuffie that you would like for us to consider?

  6. Jean Spencer · October 7, 2013 Reply

    Any thoughts that the rough field stones might mark slave burials? This is common in other parts of Georgia.

    • HRCGA · October 8, 2013 Reply

      They certainly could. Although we think it more likely that the rough fieldstones were indicative of economic status rather than class status. Would love to know more about the burial customs and conventions of the time.

    • Paul Jackson · January 5, 2015 Reply

      Probably not. They segregated cemeteries back then

  7. Deborah Clayton · October 7, 2013 Reply

    Many of my Hardin ancestors are from this area. Thank you for this information. Just wanted to mention that Thomson doesn’t have a p in the spelling. I have family buried in Thomson also.

Thoughts