By Joe Earle

Ellen Rolader, left, a descendent of one of the first pastors at Paces Ferry United Methodist Church, and Grace Sanders attend the unveiling of an historic marker at the church.

Many passersby don’t even notice the little church near the intersection of Mount Paran and Paces Ferry roads, Grace Sanders said.

“It’s up on a hill and you will just pass right by it,” she said.

But Sanders noticed the white clapboard church building that houses Paces Ferry United Methodist Church.

“I just love that little church,” she said. “It just means so much to me. You can go back in that driveway and go back to another time.”

Recently, she and fellow members of the Colonial Dames XVII Century Thomas Johnson Chapter recognized the white clapboard church for its part in Buckhead’s history. On Sept. 26, about 90 people packed the small church, Sanders said, for a ceremony dedicating a historic marker erected to recount the church’s history.

The marker says that in 1877 William Brown donated an acre for the construction of the church building. The church, then known as Pleasant Hill Methodist, was served by circuit-riding preachers. During the week, the building housed a school called the Pleasant Hill Academy.

In 1955, the congregation merged with a nearby church and the small white church was renamed Paces Ferry United Methodist Church. The congregation now counts about 32 members, Sanders said.

Part of what makes the church building special, she said, is that it has changed little since it was built more than a century ago.

“It is the same frame building it was from the beginning,” Sanders said. “We are in the original building.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.