Name: Scottsville Methodist Church
Date: ca. 1920
Image Number: B58dcdB16
Comments: In March 1832, the Scottsville Methodist Episcopal congregation purchased Lot 26 from Martin and Mildred Thacker for $150. This church property sat two lots east of Valley Street on the north side of Main Street and was deeded to the following church trustees: Lewis Mayo, Beverly Staples, Nathaniel Moon, Lelan Morris, Martin Tutwiler, Horatio I. Magruder, and William C. Adams. Shown in the above postcard is the original square church building completed in 1833. The Scottsville Sun, dated November 8, 1951, reported that the Methodist Church first belonged to the Albemarle Circuit, and its first pastor was Reverend Albert C. Burton.
The first Methodist parsonage was purchased in 1885 through the efforts of Mrs. Zack Jones; a new parsonage was constructed in 1949 and is still in use in 2016. The first organ was placed in the church in 1885, and Mrs. Mollie P. Hill both helped raised the organ's purchase price and became the church's first organist. Prior to that organ, the congregation got their pitch from a tuning fork, and the hymns were sung without accompaniment.
Over the years, flood waters from the James River frequently invaded the church. One Sunday, as a popular story goes, the congregation had just risen to sing "How Firm a Foundation" when the floor fell in. In 1927, the Methodist Church underwent extensive renovations that added 14 Sunday School rooms and a new front with bell tower as shown at right. The image below shows the Church after the 1927 renovations. An annex was completed in 1972, but the Methodist Church required extensive repair after a terrible fire in 1976.
Scottsville Methodist Church Founded in 1833; Currently Has 350 Members
The Scottsville Sun, 8 November 1951
The Scottsville Methodist Church was originally called the Methodist Episcopal Church, but became a Methodist Church shortly after it was built in 1833.
The lot upon which the Methodists first planned to build their church was on the opposite side of the street from where it now stands in the heart of Scottsville. That land was bought from Benjamin Childress and wife in 1828 and later sold. The proceeds were used toward the purchase of the present site, bought from Martin and Mildred Thacker for the sun of $150 and deeded in March 1832, to the following trustees: Lewis Mayo, Beverly Staples, Nathaniel Moon, Lelan Morris, Martin Tutwiler, Horatio I. Magruder, and William C. Adams.
The original square building to which an addition has been made was erected in 1833. At that time, it belonged to the Albemarle Circuit, and its first pastor was Rev. Albert C. Burton, who had as his assistant, Rev. R. G. Benhett. The church later became part of the Scottsville Circuit when the Albemarle Circuit was broken up.
After a quiet interlude during the War Between the States, when services became infrequent, Paul Whitehead became a regular pastor of the church.
The present parsonage was purchased in 1885 through the efforts of Mrs. Zack Jones, who helped raise the money for the first payments.
Also in 1885, the first organ was placed in the church, and Mrs. Mollie A. Hill was the first organist. Mrs. Hill was also largely instrumental in raising the money toward paying for the organ. It is recorded that previous to this time, the pitch was gotten from a tuning fork and the hymn sung without accompaniment.
The church underwent extensive repairs under the pastorate of Rev. C.E. Blankenship in 1902-1906. Then in 1927-1928, the building was remodeled with a wing added containing 14 Sunday School rooms, a new front entrance and a bell tower.
Among those who have served as superintendents are two, M. B. Harris and B. H. Jones, Sr., who served 25 years each and Peter V. Foland, who served more than 25 years. Present Sunday School Superintendent is George T. Omohundro.
At present the church has a membership of about 350.
The church serves the community not only as a religious center, but the school rooms are used for meetings of all kinds, for a nursery school during week-days and music lessons are given in the choir room.
Mrs. T.E. Bruce is organist and choir director.
Two charter members of the Woman's Society of Christian Service are still living. They ware Mrs. Hattie Moulton and Mrs. Jackson Beal. This organization is very active and contributes to both local and foreign missionary work and toward the upkeep of the church and parsonage. President is Mrs. C.W. Needs, vice-president is Mrs. Alvin Smith, and treasurer is Mrs. David Philpot.
The pastor, Rev. Jack B. Taylor, has been here four years and came from Mecklenburg County. He has two sons, Robert and Beverly Files.
The Methodist Youth Fellowship group meets every Sunday evening. Mrs. Campbell Holt has been their counsellor during the past year.
A unique memorial gift which is enjoyed by the whole community is the set of Schulmerich chimes which reproduces carillon music from a loud speaker at the top of the tower. This was given by Mr. and Mrs. Sam Butler in honor of their son, Forrest Butler, who gave his life in World War II.
Another memorial gift is the altar rail in honor of Captain John L. Pitts, a devoted member for many years. Most of the pews in the church were contributed by families in the congregation as memorials.
The Scottsville Methodist Church has grown through the years and progressed along with the town. Its increased size and activities stand as a tribute to the loyal and devoted workers who have kept it thriving as one of the largest churches in the area.
Copyright © 2001 by Scottsville Museum
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Copyright © 2001 by Scottsville Museum