Pleasant Retreat

United Methodist Church

 

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HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

In the late 1880's the Rev. H. T. Hart was pastor of the Pleasant Hill Circuit.  It consisted of four churches, Pleasant Hill, Salty, Liberty, and Lawrence Chapel.  He also preached once a month at Conoley School where he encouraged the community to build a church.

 

In 1887 W. H. Gambrell and P. C. Casey each gave two acres of land that were to be used for a churchyard and a cemetery.

 

An arbor was built early in 1888 and a Sunday school started.  Rev. H. T. Hart preached once a month and Brother Gregory (Jim), a local preacher, also preached once per month.  Later that year the first church was built on the same location as the current building.  Eight people signed a promissory note to be paid by December 1, 1888.  The first building was approximately 20 x 30 feet.  The lumber was brought from Rockdale by wagon and team on muddy roads.  A copy of the original receipt dated December 20, 1888, shows a total amount of $55.35 was paid for the lumber.  Membership at the time consisted of over 20 families.  The first couple married in the church was Russell and Emma Pruitt.

 

In 1923 or 1924 a larger church was built.  In 1947 members were cleaning around the church when it caught fire and burned down.

 

Soon afterwards, G.I. Barracks were purchased and moved to the land.  These are the buildings that stand today.  In September 2003 the church stood proud, and its heritage shined through as a new bell tower and steeple were added from memorial donations made through the years.