Live Oak Methodist Church, 1888, Turner County

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Southern Structure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Over a year ago, Melvin Newton contacted me about this church. I was amazed because it’s less than fifteen minutes from my parents’ back door and no one I knew had ever even heard of the place. Melvin wrote, in part: There is an old church in Turner County known as Live Oak Methodist Church. It is idle now as there have been no services there for several years. I was born and raised in the Live Oak Community and attended this church from as long as I can remember until I went into the Air Force in 1957. This old church is very dear to me and it’s on its last legs and in dire need of repair.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Endangered Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The congregation was established on 13 September 1888, and though the exterior was sided with asbestos at some point (likely the 1950s or thereabouts), the interior remains virtually original and appears to be contemporary to the date of the founding. As you can see in this view, the middle of the structure is sagging. This is so severe that the brick pillar below the third window from the left has collapsed. It means without stabilization, gravity will cause the structure to fall in on itself at some point.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Rear View Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

A beautiful old oak tree is located at the rear of the building.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Candle Stands Local Craftsmanship Carpentry Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The interior is now absent its pews. I’m hoping family members of the congregation removed them and not vandals. The most striking feature remaining is the handcrafted pulpit and altar and the old piano, which I’ll share from several perspectives here.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Southern Gothic Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Pulpit Altar Piano Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The view below show just how badly the floor is sagging.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Southern Sagging Floor Compromised Structural Integrity Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

And here’s a view from the altar to the front door:

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Southern Endangered Architecture Interior Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

These old flowers, perhaps brought in from the cemetery, add color to the place.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Old Christmas Flowers Wreath Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Ultimately, I’m grateful to Melvin Newton for bringing this church to my attention. It’s a real treasure which I fear will soon be lost.

Live Oak Methodist Church Turner County GA Abandoned Historic Structure Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

12 Comments

Filed under --TURNER COUNTY GA--

12 responses to “Live Oak Methodist Church, 1888, Turner County

  1. Billy Payne

    I, Billy Payne, age 81, was baptized in this church in 1952. My Great Grandfather, John Simmons Payne, who was wounded in the Battle of Atlanta, in the Civil War, is buried here, along with my parents, Paul and Sarah Payne, my grandparents, and a number of uncles, aunts and cousins. My wife, Mary and I, were married in this church, August 23, 1986. As far as I know, we were the only people who were married in this. church.

  2. Jane Alberson Harris

    I have fond memories of my father and mother going to church here. My dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins(Alberson) buried here. I visited in November of 2019 and it was in bad need of repair.
    Cemetery was not bad. Anyone can visit but you have to know where it is as in the country.

  3. Linda Sperry

    I too, love taking pictures of old buildings and tobacco barns. I never knew there were this many in Georgia. Can you please add if the public is allowed to go photograph these treasures, or if there is someone to contact to get permission?
    Thank you

  4. Gloria Pritchett Truelove

    I took numerous photographs of this beautiful church when everything was still intact inside the church. I used the photographs for a photo essay in a college assignment. It hasn’t been thrown away. At this time, it is still missing. Hopefully, the photos accompanied by poetic verses will be discovered. Gloria Pritchett Truelove

  5. Jan Payne Moore

    My family was one of the early members of the church. My parents ,grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins are buried in the cemetery. Yes,I hate to see the church collapsing! So many Sundays as a very young girl I I attended it with my family. Precious memories! I heard late about the pews but did not think anyone owned it!

  6. Alecia Hughes

    I have family buried in the little cemetery code by and fond memories of my grandmother taking me there on a few occasions to photograph the headstones, or what’s left of them. I may have pictures of the pews somewhere also. When my grandmother took me she said she thought some people still came and used the old church for special times of the year. This has been many years ago now and I’m glad to see the little white church standing.

  7. m

    My family (McLeod’s) mdbattended this church and some are buried in the adjacent cemetery. I myself have been there a time or two when visiting from Atlanta. It was a beautiful, small little church and I hope that someone might be interested in restoration.

    • akd0720

      My family are also the McLeod’s. I’ve been to this church once many years ago with a family reunion.

    • akd0720

      I am also part of the McLeod’s. I’ve been here once many many years ago during a family reunion. It saddens me to think that as of today this church may not still be standing. Does anyone know?

  8. What a gem! Is there a graveyard also? The pulpit and railing are gorgeous. Who would be interested in restoring this church?

  9. FigNewt1035@aol.com

    Brian, thank you ever so much for these amazing photographs. My eyes misted as I looked at them as some dear memories came back to me. I love this old church and I know it is only a matter of time until it is gone. I have no idea what could have happened to the pews. Thanks again, Brian, and God bless you.

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