Founded February 1956, Epworth began worshiping together as members of the family of God in a light-strung tent with Rev. Bill Kelley preaching on a sawdust floor. With 56 charter members in attendance, Epworth celebrated the completion of its first full-scale building on February 17, 1957. Eight years later, plans were inaugurated to build a newer and larger sanctuary, and on the Sunday after Thanksgiving of 1966, these plans came to a grand and glorious fruition.
The Lillian E. Nichols wing was dedicated February 1975, which was expanded to include the narthex, three storage rooms, pastor’s study, two restrooms and five classrooms. Just over two decades later, (in the fall of 1997) the new fellowship hall and classrooms were completed.
In its nearly sixty years as a vital and vibrant place of worship, sixteen pastors have enjoyed the privilege of serving Epworth:
Burns Willis- 1956-58
Glen Brinson- 1958-60 (deceased)
Lucius Powell- 1960-65 (deceased)
David Blalock- 1965-70
Ralph S. Bailey- 1970-75
Clarence T. Allen- 1975-77
Willis Moore- 1977-84
Gene Cochran- 1984-89
Brad Brady- 1989-1995
Jim Emery- 1995-96
Fred Maddox- 1996-99
Doug Walker- 1999-2004
Jerry Roe- 2004-08
Joe Buck- 2008-11
Kathy Israel-McLeod- 2011- 2016
Melissa Traver- 2016-2018
Garth Duke-Barton 2018-Present
The South Georgia Conference
The South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church seeks to grow a more Christ-like world by fulfilling the mission of the denomination, “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
The South Georgia Conference is a regional body of The United Methodist Church, which includes the geographical area of South Georgia with Columbus, Macon, and Waynesboro as the northern boundary. It includes nine smaller geographical divisions called “districts.” The South Georgia Conference is overseen by Bishop James R. King, Jr. Every year, historically in June, laity and clergy of the South Georgia Conference gather for business and worship at an event called the South Georgia Annual Conference.
About The United Methodist Church
United Methodists come in all sizes, shapes, colors, dispositions, outlooks and life stories, but share a unique history and faith perspective. Our members speak many languages and live in many countries.
No matter how or where they serve Jesus Christ, United Methodists do God’s work in a unique structure—referred to as “the connection." This concept has been central to Methodism from its beginning. Connectionalism comes to life through our clergy appointment system, our mission and outreach, and through our collective giving. We live out our call to mission and ministry by engaging in ministry with the poor, combating diseases of poverty by improving health globally, creating new places for new people and renewing existing congregations, and developing principled Christian leaders. No one congregation can do all these ministries, but together—through the power of our connection—we can make a tremendous difference.
We invite you to learn more about The United Methodist Church. If you are longing for something more in life, we want you to know that our hearts, our minds, and our doors are always open. We are always happy to share our belief in Jesus Christ and His saving love. So consider this an open invitation to join us at any one of our local churches, and soon you will find connection with the only One who can give life true meaning and fulfillment.
What do United Methodists believe?
With Christians of other communions we confess belief in the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This confession embraces the biblical witness to God's activity in creation, encompasses God's gracious self-involvement in the dramas of history, and anticipates the consummation of God's reign.
The created order is designed for the well-being of all creatures and as the place of human dwelling in covenant with God. As sinful creatures, however, we have broken that covenant, become estranged from God, wounded ourselves and one another, and wreaked havoc throughout the natural order. We stand in need of redemption.
" ... Because God truly loves us in spite of our willful sin, God judges us, summons us to repentance, pardons us, receives us by that grace given to us in Jesus Christ, and gives us hope of life eternal."
The United Methodist Church is an 11-million-strong global church that opens hearts, opens doors and opens minds through active engagement with our world.
John Wesley and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as "practical divinity" has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
We invite you to learn more about our rich theological heritage.