The year is 1875, and the site is a brush arbor on Spring Street in the city of Jonesboro, Clayton County, Georgia. In this year, ten years following the Emancipation Proclamation, Andrews Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church was born under the pastorate of the Rev. Frank Calhoun. Since her infancy, Andrews Chapel has been an undeniable constituent of the great Christian movement that has taken place during her life span. Many achievements have been made possible by the concentrated efforts of many dedicated clergy and laypersons. The church building itself has been moved several times, but the Spirit behind the moving has never budged an inch.
Due to circumstances unknown, the church site was move from Spring Street to Key Street. The present 2.75 acre church site on 122 Watterson was purchased by our founding fathers and mothers on February 12, 1881, to build a church parsonage. However, in 1891 the church was relocated to the Watterson Street site. The first building to occupy the property was a little wooden frame church built during the pastorate of Rev. A.P. Melton. In the year 1919 plans were developed and the foundation was laid for new and larger church building. The new church sanctuary was completed in 1920. This structure would house the church congregation for 52 years. Of course, during this period the church was remodeled and repaired several times for aesthetic and functional purposes. It is readily evident to persons who review the history of this congregation, that church pride has never been a rare commodity at Andrews Chapel.
During the pastorate of Rev. H. E. Burns (1931-34) the indebtedness, which was owed the Bank of Jonesboro, was moved to the Methodist Mission Board in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and this account was settled and paid in full in 1943. During the ensuing years, the congregation continued to beautify the facility and carry out its mission by planning, evaluating, and implementing various types of ministries in the church and community at large. In 1959, under the dynamic leadership of the Rev. Cornelius Henderson, the church’s new parsonage was completed and furnished. Plans for a new sanctuary, already on the drawing board were continued. The Rev. C. I. Smith and the church family broke ground for the new structure on Sunday, March 15, 1970.
On March 21, 1972, the church family marched from the old structure to occupy the present church building. With the congregation’s hard work and numerous contributions, the mortgage debt was retired in less than half of the time allotted for payment. This was a great accomplishment. Since 1977, Andrews Chapel has been virtually debt free. The buildings and grounds are so well-kept that it is often difficult for persons to believe the present structure is over 17 years old.
Over the years, the Church has served as a dynamic force in Clayton County. Her impact in ministry continues to be felt, and even more so in the last several years. The Clayton County community is growing and the Church is also experiencing a dynamic burst of growth. We take seriously our Lord’s Great Commission to “ Go and Make Disciples.”
The variety of ministries and magnitude of numerical and spiritual growth that we now experience and anticipate for the future deems it necessary that the physical facilities meet the demands and needs of the congregation and community at large. The completion and consecration of Phase I of the New Family Life Center in April of 1991, under the leadership of Reverend McCallister Hollins, is yet another episode in the great history of the Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church. Rev. Frederick R. Gray, over a nine year period, revitalized the Christian Education program with a focus on Bible Study and personal development in the Word.
June 2001 heralded the arrival of Reverend Wimbley Hale, Jr. our present pastor. He continues to leads the congregation in mission related mission projects: the parsonage, serves as a half-way home for a family in transition from homelessness to employment and self-sufficiency, a prison ministry, expanded Christian education , Sunday School classes, Summer Christian Wholeness Camp, and the Food Share program, just to name a few.
At more than 140 years of Kingdom building and gospel spreading, we shall not or cannot forget how far the Lord has brought us! Our blessed church continues to be a place of spiritual instruction and inspiration to all who thirst after God’s goodness and his mercy. We shout praises to God that we’re still here as a witness of his grace and love.
This is but a part of the extensive and rich history of Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church.
Ms. Sabrina Kennedy
For More Information Contact:
Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church
122 Watterson Street, Jonesboro, GA 30236
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