A Brief History
Thomasville Methodism dates back to 1838 when a group of Methodists began meeting regularly, led by a circuit riding minister from the Monticello District. The First Methodist Church was built in 1840 and was the only church in town for 9 years. The structure had two entrances, one for men and one for women, each occupying different sections inside the sanctuary.
During the Civil War in 1864, prisoners from Andersonville Confederate Prison were sent to Thomasville. Hospitals to care for prisoners were set up using the Methodist Church while members worshipped during that time by using the Court House. Following the war, Methodists were faced with a dilapidated church building and decided on reconstruction. The second building was built in 1867. At the same time the first parsonage was erected.
The 1880's were a "Golden Age" for both Thomasville and our Methodist Church. Plans were set in motion for a new two story brick building with a magnificent steeple and spire that could be seen all over town. The handmade decorative brick-work of several colors on the building façade, a feature still being admired today, was in keeping with the times of ornate construction. The sanctuary, which housed Sunday school rooms on the first level, was dedicated in 1885.
Over the next 30 years, the Sunday school had grown, creating a need for more space. In November 1916, the addition of two wings, each two stories in height, on either side of the original building, provided additional administrative space and twenty-two classrooms. The second floor of each wing was level with the auditorium and could be utilized for additional space by use of folding doors.
The Wesley Bible Class Room, a small brick building located just to the left rear of the sanctuary, was built in 1925. In the early 1980's it was converted into a small intimate chapel, used for worship, weddings and other functions.
In November 1939, a one story brick structure was built to become the new parsonage. The former parsonage was torn down, the wreckage sold, and the proceeds applied to church debt. Renovation efforts were begun to the sanctuary in Autumn 1949. Perhaps the most important aspect of the renovation was the addition of a beautiful new Moller pipe organ, which houses 3,000 pipes of 35 ranks. An organ dedication and Homecoming Service were held at the morning worship hour on January 8, 1950.
The most extensive building program occurred in the mid-1950's, culminating in the Fellowship Building. Containing classrooms, a large assembly room and kitchen facilities, it was completed in 1957. This complex was named the A. Bob Dixon Christian Education Center in 1999.
Under the design of architect Frank McCall, the sanctuary was renovated in 1974. This included rebuilding the organ and redecorating to the original Victorian Era design. Hard carved angels and a rosewood lyre grace the wooden casement of the organ pipes.
The church area had become surrounded by businesses, traffic and noise, not desirable characteristics for a residence location. Property was obtained at a residential location and a large new parsonage was built and dedicated in 1977. The former parsonage, built in 1939, was renovated into an activities building and in 1983 the "Anthony House" was in use. It is now used for administrative offices.
At the close of the 1980's, a courtyard of covered passageways, paved areas, landscaping and custom lighting were constructed to join all the separate buildings. A unique and beautiful open air, roofed chapel of delicate, ornate ironwork serves as the entryway into the courtyard, and features a brick and stone pulpit. Special outdoor services are possible.
In 2008, after three years of praying and planning, the church completed a new Fellowship Building consisting of a fellowship hall and state-of-the-art kitchen downstairs, and 6 Sunday School rooms upstairs. This building is used for contemporary worship, Wednesday night suppers and Christian education.