History

A Christian Presence in Winnsboro                     for more than 150 years!

Organized in 1859 as the first religious group in Winnsboro, the congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Winnsboro was disbanded during the Civil War, but reactivated in 1869 with fifteen members. Early worship services were held in a community church until a Methodist sanctuary was built at the corner of Elm and Church streets in 1880. It was replaced by a brick structure in 1904, which in turn was replaced by a new building in 1962.
 
Today our church is vibrant, growing and still committed to loving God and loving others!
 
DETAILED HISTORY:

In 1859 a Methodist church was organized in the community of Crossroads which later became Winnsboro. The church disbanded during the War Between the States, but was reorganized in1869 with 15 members.

In 1871 a building was constructed on a lot donated by Mrs. N. E. Cook. The building was a two-story structure, the lower floor being used for the church and a public school, and the upper floor as a meeting for fraternal organizations.

Until 1874 Winnsboro was on a circuit and was in several different districts. In 1874 Winnsboro was placed in the Sulphur Springs district and the Rev. Littleton F. Palmer was appointed pastor. A one-story white frame church replaced the older building in 1880.

During the pastorate of the Rev. E. L. Eggar (1903-1904) a brick church was constructed at a cost of $1,200.00. In 1913 Andrew Carnegie donated $1000 toward the purchase of a pipe organ. During these years a Sunday school, a Woman’s Missionary Society and an Epworth League were organized and played a vital role in the church program.

In 1914 a frame building was constructed north of the church to serve as a place to hold Protracted Meetings during the summers. Additional space for Sunday school classrooms was provided by building an upstairs for a parsonage in 1928. The building later served as Sunday school classrooms and a meeting place for the Youth Department. When a new parsonage was built this building was sold land moved off the lot. The lot now serves as parking area for the church.

 In 1928 at the urging of the Rev. K R. Isbell, pastor of the First Church in Winnsboro, The Blackwell Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, located about 2 miles south of Winnsboro, became a part of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and since that time the pastor of the First Church has held worship service for the congregation in the beginning, services were held only once or twice each month, but since the pastorate of the Rev. Jack Busby (1976-1978) services have been held each Sunday. In 1928 the name changed to Tinney Chapel in honor of W. A. Tinney, who had donated land for the building. Today the church is an active thriving rural church with strong Sunday School.

The Harmony Methodist Church was added to the Winnsboro charge in July,1963. The membership was moved to town and the building and grounds were given to the Harmony Cemetery for use in connection with the cemetery.

 In 1948 a brick Education Building was completed. The building, later named Asbury Hall, housed a kitchen, classrooms, office for the pastor, the secretary and Sunday School Superintendent and a library.

During the pastorates of the Rev. Kirk Beard and the Rev. Luther Hill financial drives were made for funds to construct the new sanctuary. Under the pastorate of the Rev. Buist Wilson, a new sanctuary was opened on February 10, 1963.

In February 1964 a new parsonage on Coke Road was purchased. The debt for the sanctuary and the parsonage were paid in full on June 4, 1970. The Dedication Service was held on Nov. 29, 1970 under the direction of the presiding Bishop W. Kenneth Pope, The District Superintendent, Dr. C. Sessions and the pastor the Rev. Walter L. Zimmerman.

In 1974 the pastorate of the Rev. Robert May an additional educational building, Wesley Hall, was completed. The parsonage on Coke Road was sold and a new one on Church Street just north of the church grounds was acquired in May of 1975. Formal consecration of both buildings was held in the spring of 1976.

A large Family Life Building was added in approximately 2010 after several years of preparation. It was consecrated while Rev. Reid Fade was pastor and paid in full.
 
 
 
 
 
Pastors of First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
E. L. Eggar – 1903 – 04
F. B. Wheeler 1918
W. C Howell
A. A. Kidd
W. S. Dabney
K. R . Esbell
Earl M. Jones
O. T. Kiker
S. M. Dunnam
C. D. King, Jr. 1930
C.L. Bounds
H. Grady May 1945
Jack Ellzey – 1949-50
L. G. Hagard – 1951-54
Kirk Beard – 1955-58
Luther Hill – 1959
Buist Wilson – 1960-64
Harold Taylor – 1964-66
Bob Bush – 1966-68
Walter Zimmerman – 1968-72
Robert C. May – 1972-76 part-time till 93
Jack Busby – 1976-78
Fred Durham – 1978-83
Jim Connaster – 1983-84
David Rucker – 1984-87
Gene Welborn – 1987-93
Randy Newkirk – 1993-97
Henry Suche – 1997-2005
Allen Snider – 2005-09
Reid Fade – 2009-2012
Mike Langdon – 2012-2016
Carolyn Allbritton – 2016-2017
Debbie Lyons – 2017 to present