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Goshen UMC to celebrate 100 years

When the Rev. Bob Brown arrived at Goshen United Methodist Church in June 2010, he made an interesting observation.

The church was established in the latter part of 1910 and was ripe and ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

The membership was excited at the prospect and, at the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Aug. 1, Goshen United Methodist Church will celebrate 100 years of continuous service as a place of praise and worship to its Lord and Savior.

The Rev. Marvin Vickers Jr. will be the guest minister for the historic occasion and special music will be presented by the Charge Choir, Jane Stroud and Cara Hussey. Special recognition will be given to the church’s oldest member, Lucy F. Sanders.

Following the worship service, there will be dinner on the ground and all church members, former members and friends of the church are invited to be a part of this special anniversary celebration.

“We are proud of our church’s long standing in the Goshen community,” said Billy Walters, a longtime member of the Goshen Methodist Church. “According to a church history compiled by the Rev. Lavon Davis, our church was established in 1910 as the Goshen Methodist Episcopal Church with 15 or 16 members.”

Walters said the Goshen church was a member of the Brantley Charge and, in 1912, the Conference Board of Church Extension approved a grant of $200 toward the construction of a church building. The logs were donated by a local sawmill owner who also sawed the lumber for the church.

In November 1912, the pillars had been laid and all the framing was done.

All other needed materials were on the ground waiting to be utilized. Everything was paid for and “at least” $300 has been expended.

The construction of the church building was completed in or around late November 1913. In October 1914 the value of the church was set at $1,000.

Times following were not always good and in the mid-1920s attendance often belonged to two families, the J.T. Folmar and W.B. Kyzar families.

Walters said Davis reported that the old church burned in the fall of 1931. The fire was thought to have started in the old school building adjacent to the church where cottonseed and other farm products were stored.

“Times were hard and there was hardly enough for people to live on much less rebuild a church,” Davis wrote.

“However, the despair caused by the Great Depression did not overcome the faithful of Goshen Methodist Church. They did rebuild.”

Again, lumber and labor was donated and the church was rebuilt some time around August 1931.

Pastors used the passenger service of the Central of Georgia line that ran between Goshen and Brantley to fill their appointments to the Goshen church.

In June 1952, Goshen was removed from the Brantley Charge and became a half-time church – the Goshen-Camp Ground Charge.

In June 1959 the Goshen Charge was formed by adding Henderson and Little Oak from the Shady Grove Charge.

Today, Goshen United Methodist Church, Henderson and Little Oak form what might be called a revolving church. The church memberships follow the pastor to the church he serves each Sunday.

Brown preaches at Goshen the first and third Sundays and at Henderson and Little Oak the second and fourth Sundays.

The second Sunday the worship service is at 10 a.m. at Little Oak and 11 a.m. at Henderson.

On the fourth Sunday, the service is at 10 a.m. at Henderson and at 11 a.m. at Little Oak.

Fifth Sunday services rotate among the three churches.

“It can be a little confusing but it works,” Brown said.

“The members of each church enjoy attending the other churches and there is a great sense of fellowship in the Lord’s house, wherever it is.”