My great-grandfather, George Washington Barrett, was a pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (to 1939) and The Methodist Church (from 1939). He spent part of his career as pastor in Winder, Georgia, a short drive from my home in Athens. To be precise, he served as pastor of the Winder Methodist Episcopal Church, South, from November 1925 to November 1926.
The present-day First United Methodist Church of Winder moved to another set of buildings at a different address and larger plot n 1964. The new facilities seem attractive from the street, and probably are closer up too. Yet, as one who likes old buildings, and old things in general, I find the 1904 brick structure more appealing and charming.
An independent congregation, the Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, has moved into the old building and begun architectural restoration. Based on their website, I am relatively too heretical and ritualistic to be welcome there, so I restrict my admiration to the physical structure. That building reminds me of an old saying: “They don’t build them like this anymore.”
Scan of a photograph reproduced in C. Fred Ingram, ed., Beadland to Barrow: A History of Barrow County, Georgia, from the Earliest Times to the Present (Atlanta, GA: Cherokee Publishing Company, 1983), page 279
On April 6, 2011, I visited the public library in Winder and consulted the local history published in 1978. That book contains an old image of the 1904 structure. Apparently the front porch and large steps were not original. At first, according to the photographic records in two local history volumes I consulted, the original front facade of the building had a door, for windows to its right, then two doors on the corner to their right. There was also an impressive spire on the right front corner. As the recent photographs indicate, however, the original two front doors are gone, replaced by windows. And two newer front doors have replaced two of the four front windows.
And the handicapped access ramp is recent, of course. I know that not all people in olden times were able-bodied, so why was access not a high priority for architects?
All color mages are from the website of the Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.
Updated April 7, 2011
Updated July 28, 2012
Updated April 22, 2015
Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit: http://shswinder.org/
First United Methodist Church of Winder: http://www.winderfumc.com/