|The First United Methodist Church is an outgrowth of the first Methodist church congregation in Georgia. Grant's Meeting House, built in 1787, five miles southeast of Washington just off the old Wrightsboro Road, was the home of this first Methodist family. A part of that original membership formed the nucleus of the Washington church.
Bishop Francis Asbury's official visits to Wilkes County began in 1788. He held a General Conference in 1783 in the log cabin which was Washington's first courthouse. In 1821 the site of the present Masonic building (on East Liberty Street) was purchased for the purposed of constructing a church building.
In 1824, during the pastorate of Rev. Lovick Pierce, a larger wooden church structure with a porch extending across its front was erected there. During an annual conference held in this building in 1834 the first movement to build Emory College was started.
In 1842 the congregation had been strengthened in membershipo and spirit by some very effective revivals to the point that it was strong enough to be classified as a station church and was no longer on a circuit.
During the 1850s and 1860s it continued its ministry under existing difficulties with about 150 members. In 1871 a Sunday School was organized and in 1878 the Woman's Missionary Society was begun.
In 1882 the brick church on East Liberty Street, (presently the Masonic building), was built and dedicated by Bishop Pierce. The congreagation was host there to the North Georgia Conference in 1890, and the building was used by the Methodists as their church home until 1910 when the occupied their present church structure a short distance away at 102 West Liberty.
The old wooden building had become Floy's Opera House when it was moved a short distance from its original site. Now the brick building on the same site is regularly occupied by men of the Masonic Order as it is owned by them.
The cornerstone of the present church building on the northeast corner reads as follows:
First Methodist Church
Organized A.D. 1819
Rebuilt A.D. 1907
B. S. Irvin, T. C. Hogue,
F. H. Ficklen, M. A. Pharr,
R. Motte Smith, K. A. Wilheit,
I. T. Irvin Jr.,
Rev. H. J. Ellis, Pastor
The new building was dedicated by Bishop Morrison when it was finished.
A stained glass window in memoriam to Samuel H. Barnett, Marcus Aurelius Pharr, and Jerome A. Wooten was placed in the sanctuary above the choir loft. The existing East and West windows were given in memory of the Thomas C. Hogue family and Mr. and Mrs. Marcus A. Pharr Sr.
100 W. Liberty Street
Washington, Georgia 30673