From its establishment in 1827 to the present, Barnesville First United Methodist Church (BFUMC) has been a source of pride with a rich heritage of worship and outreach in the Barnesville, Lamar County area. From meager beginnings, we have grown in service to our community as we strive to share our God with others.
Shortly after the village of Barnesville sprang up on the Georgia-Alabama Stagecoach Line road, the early settlers with deep religious beliefs realized the need for a church. Soon a Circuit Rider was conducting services at the home of Mr. Josiah Holmes, while Barnes Store Tavern housed the Sunday school.
Mr. Holmes, a large land owner, gave the land for the first church to be built. It was a small one-room wooden building with a cemetery behind it. Rev. Jeremiah Norman served as the first pastor at BFUMC. Presently, the Lamar County Court House sits on that site. By 1852, the congregation had outgrown the small building and a larger structure was needed.
For the second time, Mr. Holmes gave land for a new building which was constructed where the old Carnegie Library, now Cara Studios, now stands. During the Civil War, the church building was used as a school and Rev. Wesley Hanson, the minister at that time, was put in charge. The congregation continued to grow.
In 1870, once again, Mr. Holmes donated the property where our current building is located. By 1902, a rock veneer siding and beautiful memorial stain-glassed windows adorned the building. The congregation helped many in the community survive the Depression Era whilst pulling together and worshiping God.
In August of 1939, tragedy struck as fire destroyed the sanctuary and memorial windows. Sunday morning services were held at the Ritz Theatre with night services at the Presbyterian Church while many dedicated members worked tirelessly to rebuild.
In September of 1940, the first service in our current sanctuary was held with Rev. John B. Tate delivering the message. During the years of WWI and WWII, we sent 77 men and women to war from our church. Eight paid the supreme sacrifice.
In 1965, an educational wing was added to the sanctuary, completing the construction of what we now call our church home.
In 1977, we celebrated our 150th year in the Barnesville community with several activities related to the history of our church. For example, one Sunday in September many parishioners walked, rode their horses or rode in buggies to church, as would have been done in “earlier times”. In 2002, we celebrated our 175th year as a congregation with a pageant and grand Homecoming service with many former pastors and parishioners returning to share in the festivities.