Historic Markers Across Georgia

Philadelphia United Methodist Church

Marker ID:  
Location: New Phoenix Rd .6 mile SE of Old Phoenix Rd
County: Putnam
Coordinates: N 33° 21.834    W 083° 16.106
  33.3639    -83.26843333
  The coordinates have been estimated
based on the location of the marker.
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None
Philadelphia United Methodist Church Marker
Photo by David Seibert


In 1839, Philadelphia Sunday School Society was organized and a house of warship was built on a track tract of land on Lick Creek donated by the Turner family. Joel Chandler Harris, while he lived in Turnworld Plantation, attended this church with his mentor Joseph Addison Turner, editor of the Countryman. Near the close of the Civil War, in late November 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman's 20th US Army Corps passed through the neighborhood of the church on his infamous "March To The Sea " to capture the port city of Savanna for President Lincoln. Confederate soldiers who were on picket duty and camped near Philadelphia Church posted the following notice "Soldier of the Union Army - Defaced not this Church, nor destroy anything within its walls as you love the union for which you are manfully fighting - An Officer. " The message prevented the union soldiers from defacing the church building. As the community and congregation grew steadily after the war - its members having survived the hardship of Union-imposed post-war Reconciliation through the end of 1871 - and after the more prosperous economy return, members of the church decided that the church building needed to be moved nearer to the center of the community. On October 15, 1884, Mrs. Frances Rhoda Hines Turner Herbert graciously deeded the land on which the present church building stands. Timbers from the original church building were used in the construction of the present structure on this site. Early church records and tombstones in the large cemetery bear silent witness to the names of many early church families including Alexander, Batchelor, Beal, Collier, Credelle, Dance, Dennis,, Denham, Gatewood, Holt, Little, Maddox, Montgomery, Reddick, Rogers, Ross Slaughter, Spivey, Turner and Wheeler. Descendents of these early families are continuing to carry on the work of the founders of this church today. This plaque is dedicated to the Glory Of God and the ministers and members of this church who have willingly given so much in order that His message of salvation and the life eternal might be shared with all mankind.

Erected October 2002 by members of the Philadelphia United Methodist Church, Friends and Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society, Inc.