Methodist Church, 1912, Oliver

historic oliver methodist church photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Although a Methodist church, this structure features three large stained-glass windows with the Star of David motif, traditionally a symbol of the Jewish faith. According to Bob Peavy, whose father was christened here in 1919, the congregation was established in 1907. Please see his detailed comments about the church history in the comments section. The church has most recently been used as a restaurant, Oliver on 24.

oliver ga methodist church restaurant photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

12 Comments

Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Oliver GA

12 responses to “Methodist Church, 1912, Oliver

  1. Jerry C Hughes

    lease, I need help confirming that a cemetery actually exists here, or were all those buried moved to another cemetery? I am a descendant of the Haddock surname and I located an obituary for a Miss Miriam Haddock who died on 2 Nov 1947, the obit states service held at Oliver Methodist Church and interred in Oliver. The obit wasn’t exactly clear if her burial was at the church cemetery. On findagrave.com only two cemeteries are named in Oliver, Little Ogeechee Baptist Church Cemetery and a Saint John Baptist Church Cemetery. Miriam was 19 when she died.

    Any help would be most appreciated.

    Jerry
    bbuc90247@gmail.com

    • Dale E. Reddick

      Read Bob Peavey comment in which he describes how burials in the community of Oliver were performed at Little Ogeechee Baptist Church.

  2. penny

    We drove by this church today, I was intrigued by the Jewish influence too. I dug into the iconography of using a Star of David on the church. It seems that in the late Victorian era it was a common theme in churches in England and US. See footnote 104 at this link:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=znjjfhVqdg4C&pg=PT222&lpg=PT222&dq=victorian+architecture+%22star+of+david%22+church&source=bl&ots=XErtIjoqCS&sig=CZeeSO2rQ0PTSx74-VIdOwfSwKE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=x9hvU7nlMa_MsQSWzICgBw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAQ

  3. Chastity Ellen (Blackburn) Ryan - Harrison, TN

    I grew up going to this church. I was christened here in 1975. I have many fond memories of Sundays with my grandma (Ellen Peavy Blackburn) and all the other residents of Oliver that attended this church. My grandma played the piano there and it’s where she first started teaching me how to play. There was a little Sunday School room in back that all of us kids would gather to learn about Jesus. We had a Christmas play every year and all of us youngsters had a role in it. There was a kitchen in back that held many, many memories for me because that’s where all the ladies would gather and get everything ready for our church socials. I’m not sure what it looks like on the inside now, but when I was a kid it was beautiful and I loved sitting in the pew watching the sun shine through the stain glass windows, and we would sometimes venture up the tower and pretend that we were climbing up a castle tower. In the summertime it would get extremely hot so we would leave the doors open and have our paper Jesus fans to cool down with. This is a beautiful photo but it is even more beautiful on the inside looking out. This brings back so many great memories. Thank you!

  4. Janice Oliver Stinnett

    i WOULD LOVE MORE INFORMATION ON THE STAR OF DAVID ON THE CHURCH, i HAVE ANCESTORS THAT LIVE AND HAVE LIVED IN THIS AREA AND TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THIS IMAGERY?

  5. The Screven County tax office shows that this property of 0.91 acres is on the Kildare Road between the Newington-Oliver Highway (Highway 24) and Porter Lane. Katharine RUTHERFORD sold this land to the First Methodist Episcopal Church [perhaps the “mother church” in Sylvania] in 1908. It was sold in October of 2009 for $62,500 – its current value is less (these records show its usage is classified commercial, and may imply that the planned use of the 2622 square foot building is as a restaurant). The building is about 40 feet wide by 64 feet long, inset by the 12 foot square tower.

  6. A history of the town of Oliver, written in 1942 by Pauline SMITH (1885-1963 http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=24969158 ), indicated that the congregation was founded in 1899, and that this building was erected in 1912. The last church sign indicated that it was established in 1907 (I’ve not yet verified dates). My paternal grandparents (PEAVY-WOODS) were married in 1905 in Screven County. My grandmother grew up at Harmony Methodist Church (toward the opposite corner of the county). I believe that they had children christened at this church in 1906, 1908, 1910, 1912 (namesake of Physician and Mayor, Dr. Howard Emerson EZELL 1878-1938), 1914 (twins), 1917, 1919 (my Dad) and 1921 – most of the children would have been delivered by Dr. EZELL. The family moved to Port Wentworth in Chatham County in 1922.

  7. Nick Benton

    I’ve made excuses to drive by that church more than a few times…today being one of them. I’m strangely attracted to it. If I could afford to purchase it, I would…without fail.

    Interesting point on the wooden pegs Jason M…a fellow Statesboro native!.

  8. I visited the church the other day. Finding it was a surprise. I had never been to Oliver before. I live in Statesboro. The Church is for sale. A gentleman was working on it on the inside, and I was able to look around. It was Very interesting. I’ve never seen a church like that. One it was Big. Most old churches are small. It was Square, most are retangle. And the Stars of David’s. Very interesting. The worker said it was built without nails. They used wooden pegs.

  9. JohnRobert Peavy

    Dear Brian BROWN,

    The congregation of Oliver Methodist Church was established in 1907. My father was christened there in 1919; his father’s farm was a very few miles down Old Louisville Road just across Wallowing Branch (in adjacent Effingham County), and the family likely attended from the congregation’s beginning. The Methodist Church there had no cemetery; the white families of the area had been buried nearby at Little Ogeechee Baptist Church (which had been established in 1790, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2238363). Today, the oldest marked burial is dated 1845, but desecration of the site in 1864 left very few stone memorials, and none of the wooden. The town of Oliver grew up as a railroad stop established at the beginning of the 20th century near the then century-old Baptist Church, and the town was named for a prominent farmer of the area.

    May God Bless You and Your Family,

    JohnRobert (Bob) Peavy
    Rincon, Georgia

    • Thanks so much for this information, Bob. I was very curious about the origins of the church, considering its strong Hebraic imagery; do you know if the Methodists actually built this church, and if so, was it built in 1907, when the congregation was established?

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