Darlington United Methodist Church
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Rev. J. B. Dickenson of the Hamilton Grove Circuit organized the Darlington Methodist Church in 1847 at Lafayette Center (or Avon). This group met at a log schoolhouse on the Jameson Hamilton farm until 1853 when a new and more commodious Center School became its second temporary home. In 1855 a frame church was built at the cost of $900.00 at Avon. This building was moved from Avon to the present location of the church in Darlington in 1864. This structure remained the church home until it was torn down in 1886 to make room for a new church building that is still occupied today.
This picture of the church was taken in August of 1886, shortly after its dedication. 380 people attended the dedication ceremony and the offering received during the ceremony was enough to pay off the indebtedness incurred during the building project. The land, on which the church sits, and still does, was purchased for $1.00. A description of the new building was published in the Darlington Republican of August 27, 1886. In part, it reported: “As we gaze upon the new church, built during a season of great financial depression, completed in so short a time and dedicated to the service of the living God, free from debt and encumbrance, we may well say “How wonderful!’”
In 1899-1900, under the ministry of Rev. William Atkinson, a new parsonage was built to the west of the church at the cost of $2,000.00. The front bedroom of the house was furnished and maintained by the Epworth League (the youth group of the day). It was used, when needed, to house visiting elders or superintendents, or missionaries who were visiting the area. While having undergone a few remodeling projects over the years, this home continues to serve as the residence for the pastor and his family.