One hundred years ago there lived along the border line of Troup and Meriwether counties a few families…who came from…our first settled counties into these then new counties. There was little land cleared. There was not a railroad within the commonwealth of Georgia. The old stage line through here had not long been blazed. The way of getting about was commonly
in gigs, wagons, on horse or by foot.
The goodly neighbors…along the line of Troup and Meriwether were energetic folks of plain living, but of high thinking and pure and loving spirit bent on the grand achievement of building and developing character according to the Divine given pattern. Among them was Thomas Evans, his wife and family. His cabin home was located northeast of Camp Viola and near that site. Very homelike seemed this Evans cabin resting pacifically in a little clearing surrounded by a profusion of trees–the original giants of the forest.
This man, Thomas Evans, the pioneer, was of close Welch extraction on both sides of the house. They were of long lines of people noted for uprightness and goodness. This man seemed to have a very genius for godliness. The records are evidence that he lived a life of communion with, and obedience to his God. …Certain it was that in that cabin prayer, earnest and continued, led by Thomas Evans, the pioneer, and joined in by his family and neighbors who met with them, resulted in the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church being organized. Rev. James Hunter, a very consecrated and energetic circuit-rider who frequented this neighborhood, organized this church in 1828, in the cabin of Thomas Evans, the pioneer and served that year as its pastor. The services
were held the better of that first year in the cabin where it was organized. The cabin still stands. In the frequent prayers for the planting of this church that was carried on in the Evans cabin, we know the Master was there, because He said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” The charter members were Thomas, Martha, Elizabeth, Abigail, Nancy and C. W. Evans–also Mrs. Evans and her sister, David Rorie, and Henry Chappell. The little congregation grew and soon over-crowded the cabin. So in the autumn of 1828 the neighbors built a larger
house for worship. Twas a log house and was erected near where old Hebron Church stood. Among the new settlers who moved in and united with the church were Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Cox, Mr. and Mrs. James Nance, Mr. and Mrs. William Allen, Mr. Calvin Harman and several of his sisters.
Shortly after the opening of the new church building, three more children of Thomas Evans, Aaron, William and J. F. Evans joined. Mr. C. W. Evans, son of the pioneer, entered the ministry and served this church the year of 1846, …two of his brothers taught the first Sunday school ever held in this church. That was when ’twas held on Meriwether soil. New settlers continued to move in from time to time, and united with the church. It was found necessary to have a larger church building. This second one was erected on land almost in front of Mr. Wilson Partridge’s home. In the year 1851 after a series of prayer meetings a protracted meeting resulted in thirty additions
to the church. The leader who led the vanguard for strengthening the membership and growth of this church was Thomas Evans, the saintly, and now sainted pioneer.
Among his lineal descendants were Mrs. John Carleton, Mrs. Joseph Thrash, Mrs. James Nance, Mr. William Evans, Mrs. Alice Florence, Mrs. Merriman Harman, Mr. J. W. Stipe, Mr. Cecil Marchman, Miss Anna Davis, Mrs. Lucy Ann Florence and Mrs. Wilson Partridge.
This Evans, the pioneer, has descendants in the sixth generation now attending this church, the youngest being little John Thrash, Jr. With passing of time the membership crowded the little church facing the Partridge place. The land for the new church was given by the great-hearted and saintly Dr. Joseph Bradfield. The building was on the hill where is now the Mountville cemetery. The first Sunday School at this place was organized by Mr. John Carleton. He, his wife and son, Olin, were members of the church at this time, the time of its greatest prosperity; others were Dr. and Mrs.Joseph Bradfield and children, Mr. and Mrs. Boss Woodward and children, Mr. and Mrs. William Watson and children, the Harman families, the Thrash families, the Bird family, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Fincher, Mr. and Mrs. Millard Fincher and family, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Owens and family, Mrs. Andy Beasley and family, the Cox family, the Davis family, Mrs. C.P. and C.P. Marchman, Mr. and Mrs. G. V. Boddie and sister.
Source: History of the Mountville Methodist Church, by Miss Belle Boddie read at the Centennial Celebration of the Church October 20, 1928.