Once Abandoned Old Church Gets a Savior

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Cedar Grove Methodist Church | Tattnall County, GA | c. 1887

A church congregation of farming families in South Georgia began meeting in this area in 1887, initially in the homes of members. But within a few short years, this church building had been erected that would serve its community for the next 100 years.

When the structure was built, the design was made with the warm Georgia weather in mind. High ceilings and brick piers would help air circulate underneath and through the building in the days before air conditioning. The windows, which were very tall with a center pivot, could be opened to swing out horizontally, allowing a breeze to move from top to bottom.

In those early years, the church building was also used as a school which was common in those days.

Cedar Grove in the 1900s

But the next years would bring two World Wars, a Depression, and farming mechanization that changed everything for this small community. By the 1960s, the congregation had decreased significantly, and in 1975, the church closed.

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An effort was made to revive the congregation in 1979, but by 1982, church membership listed only 2 people and it would close for good and the church fell into a state of disrepair.

An Angel Named Janisse

The building has been empty ever since and appeared to have little hope for a future until a local hero stepped up to do something about it. Author and Environmental Activist, Janisse Ray, has watched the church over the years and couldn’t help but answer the call when it pulled on her heartstrings.

Janisse Ray, Author, Ecological Activist, Historic Preservationist, the Angel of Cedar Grove. Image courtesy of Historic Rural Churches of Georgia.

Over the past 5 years, she has replaced the roof, fixed the steps, and work on the windows has begun. She has plans to finish the restoration in order to offer the space for weddings and community events. You can follow her project here.

Cedar Grove Gets a New Roof

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