Submitted by Nelle Price Epps
A History of Prospect Methodist Church
of Athens, Georgia
Written by Virginia Daniell
Prospect can trace its history back to the early settlers of Tallassee Colony. In 1786, a Methodist minister, named James Tinsley settled at Fort Strong in the area of Prospect Church near Tallassee Shoals. Church and school were held in the same building in those early years. In 1834, an act was passed to create Prospect Academy. It was held in the building called Prospect Meeting House, but there are old-folks tales of a log church building to the left of the meeting house and on an old wagon trail from Prospect Church Road to a house known as the old Walker Hale House. Prospect Meeting House was built on the property of Sterling Combs, and in 1839, he sold his property to Charles Kenney, except for two acres of land and the building known as Prospect Meeting House. Prospect Church’s first record book known in existance records dates back to 1845. The Georgia Methodist Conference was organized in 1830. Our local Methodist ministers date back to 1788, with James Tinsley being the first.
We still find names of our early settlers on our church rolls: Kenney, Jackson, Fowler, Bell, Duncan, Lavender, Wages, and Nixon. In 1890, Prospect Church as it now stands, was built. School moved from Prospect Academy to Cold Springs and on to Fowler School. In 1806, the Missionary Society was organized by Mrs. Dean of Winterville. The Church purchased a parsonage in 1965 and has had a full time preacher since 1966.
Some of the more important records have been copied and framed and now hang on the walls of the church annex. The original records are kept by the church historian who lives near the church.